Skateboarding Medalist Jagger Eaton Says He Competed at Olympics on an Injured Ankle: 'It's Broken Right Now'
Jagger Eaton won the first-ever bronze Olympic medal in men's street skateboarding in Tokyo last week
Jagger Eaton wasn't slowed down by an ankle injury when he skated his way to the first-ever Olympic bronze in men's street skateboarding — though he'd now like some time to heal.
Speaking with PEOPLE after his victory at the Tokyo Games during week one of the competition, Eaton, 20, says he pushed through the injury, which happened at the Street Skateboarding World Championships in Rome this past May and June.
"I don't know how much people know, but I was competing on a broken ankle," the athlete says. "It's broken right now. And so I'm just going to go home and heal it and really what it needs is rest. And that's what I'm going to give it."
He admits that, after the break, he entertained the idea that he might not be able to compete at the Games.
"Right when I broke my ankle in Rome, when I was sitting in my room, I was icing my ankle in an ice bath," Eaton remembers. "And I was sitting there just being like, 'Man, did I just see my Olympic debut shattered?' I just had to dig deep and there's something about being hurt or being sick that kind of brings the best out of you."
The Arizona native adds, "You dig something for deeper and that's kind of what happened on that finals day in Rome. And to be sitting here, the medal around my neck, just means the world to me."
When Eaton heads back home, he's also focused on hitting the golf course with his dad for a relaxing 18 holes. The pair are close, and Geoff Eaton was his first call after nabbing the medal.
"I guess that I was yelling so loud that he didn't hear anything for like two minutes," Eaton says.
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.
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