Gymnast Danusia Francis Competes in Olympics Despite Knee Injury: I'm 'Glad' to 'Fulfill My Dream'
A knee injury wasn't going to stop Danusia Francis from fulfilling her dream of becoming an Olympian.
During Sunday's qualifying round, the 27-year-old gymnast representing Jamaica went through with competing on the uneven bars despite suffering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Her 11-second performance, which she did entirely on the low bar before gently dismounting, earned her a 9.033 execution score with a difficulty rating of 0.5. After losing 6.5 points for various infractions, Francis' time in Tokyo came to an end with an overall score of 3.033.
Still, Francis couldn't be prouder of her achievement.
"I am officially an Olympian. I have waited a long time to be able to say that," the British-born athlete — who was a reserve for Great Britain in the 2012 Summer Olympics but did not get the chance to compete — wrote on her Instagram after failing to make the qualifiers.
"The competition might not have been exactly how I imagined it. But the spirit of the Olympic Games was everything I could have hoped for," she continued. "I have torn my ACL and will need surgery to repair it. Although I am devastated about this injury, I am glad I was still able to go out there, represent Jamaica, and fulfil [sic] my dream.
Francis went on to note that her Olympic run was "the second time Jamaica has been represented in gymnastics, and I know this is just the beginning."
"To all the young gymnasts out there, chase your dreams!" she added.
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Francis was supposed to take part in the women's individual all-around event. Due to her injury, she withdrew from the balance beam, the vault and the floor exercise.
The gymnast first spoke about her injury in an Instagram post last week, writing, "Podium training ✅ #tokyo2020🇯🇵 The arena is stunning 🤩 unfortunately I do have a knee injury so only did bars today, but happy with my performance & enjoyed myself out there!"
A day before her event, Francis confirmed that she would only be "competing bars due to my knee injury," adding at the time, "But can't wait to get out there!!"
On Monday, Francis posted a photo of her injured knee in a leg brace from her plane ride back home.
"Let's get this knee sorted," she captioned the shot.
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Francis also shared a photo of herself happily waving after touching down at the arrival terminal, writing, "The nicest welcome home!!"
In the wake of her inspiring performance, many fans took to social media to express their support for Francis.
Retired Olympic gymnast Dominique Moceanu applauded Francis' "remarkable journey," writing on Twitter, "Once an Olympian, always an Olympian. Congratulations!"
"And the legend @danusiafrancis fulfilled her Olympic dream by competing a few skills on uneven bars despite a torn ACL," Francis' alma mater UCLA tweeted. "Congratulations, Nush! We are so proud of you, OLYMPIAN!"
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.