The Olympic Games is a rollercoaster of emotions for many athletes, and no one knows this better than Irish boxer Aidan Walsh, who went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in a matter of seconds.
After the Irishman won his quarterfinal bout over Merven Clair of Mauritius on Friday, he was overcome with emotion and began to jump up and down in a wild celebration. There was just one problem, however. On one of his joy-filled leaps, he landed awkwardly on his ankle and then limped painfully around the ring.
According to the Associated Press, Walsh did not attend his weigh-in for his semifinal bout against Britain’s Pat McCormack, with his absence sending McCormack straight to the gold medal bout.
The Irish team played things pretty close to their chest, stating only that Walsh’s reason for the withdrawal was an ankle injury and that the ailment occurred during the bout. However, the 24-year-old showed no signs of injury during his match and was only spotted grimacing after his failed celebration. He was also seen leaving the arena in a wheelchair.
One silver lining for Walsh is that he'll still leave Tokyo with a bronze medal — Ireland’s 17th Olympic boxing medal of all-time — but he did cost himself a chance at gold.
“What Aidan did this week is an incredible achievement,” Ireland boxing team leader Bernard Dunne said, via The Associated Press. “His performance throughout the tournament has been outstanding, and it is great to see him write his name in the annals of Irish sport.”
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