Olympian Shares Gruesome Injury From Painful Pool Clash That Forced Him To Retire

by : Emily Brown on : 05 Aug 2021 07:54
Olympian Shares Gruesome Injury From Painful Pool Clash That Forced Him To RetirePA/BBC Sport/Twitter

British swimmer Hector Pardoe was forced to retire from the men’s Olympic 10km marathon swim after an elbow to the face left him with a nasty eye injury. 

Pardoe had successfully powered through eight kilometres in Tokyo Bay when another swimmer accidentally hit him in the face and knocked off his goggles, causing them to sink to the bottom of the water.


The clash was so dramatic that Pardoe later revealed he believed his eye had actually fallen out in the water, and with his vision impacted he had to call up to the lifeguards to ask whether he was okay.

Hector Pardoe swims in men's 10k (PA Images)PA Images

Recalling the incident to BBC Sport, he said: ‘On the last lap, I took an elbow to the face, I thought I had lost the eye. My goggles completely came off. I like to think whenever I get an injury I’d be able to finish the race but the goggles completely fell off.’

The swimmer continued: ‘And I couldn’t even get them. And I couldn’t see anything. I thought my eye had fallen out into the water. And I was going up to the lifeguards saying ‘my eye, my eye – is it OK?’ And they weren’t giving me a very decisive opinion.’

Hector Pardoe shares image of bandaged eye (@hectorpardoe/Instagram)@hectorpardoe/Instagram

Pardoe took to his Instagram Story to share an image of himself wrapped in a bandage before revealing the painful-looking injury underneath, with his eye left red and swollen.

The swimmer was forced to retire from the race as a result of the injury and immediately sought medical attention after climbing out of the water, Metro reports, though he has since admitted it was ‘really disappointing’ for him to not be able to finish the event.

Hector Pardoe reveals eye injury (@hectorpardoe/Instagram)@hectorpardoe/Instagram

‘I’ve been progressing through every race this year and I thought I had a good chance of doing something good here,’ he said, per Swimming.org.

Though Pardoe’s swim was cut short this time, the athlete is now turning his attention to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games where he hopes he can ‘come back strong’ and ‘hopefully try and win it’.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Sport, injury, Now, Olympics, Swimming, Team GB, Tokyo, Tokyo 2020


Hector Pardoe/Instagram
  1. Hector Pardoe/Instagram