|2008 U.S. Olympic team captain Alicia Sacramone suffered a torn Achilles' tendon on Thursday at the worlds in Japan, USA Gymnastics confirmed.Three-time world gymnastics champion Alicia Sacramone will undergo surgery Monday in the U.S. on her torn Achilles' tendon, USA Gymnastics announced Friday.
Sacramone suffered a ruptured Achilles while training an Arabian double front on floor exercise on Thursday in Tokyo, one day before the world gymnastics championships were set to begin. The U.S. team will compete Saturday in the second of two qualification days for the women.
The U.S women are down to five gymnasts only out of six, due to an training injury to alternate Anna Li.
"I am so disappointed to not be able to compete and be a part of this team's competitive success," Sacramone said. "This is an incredibly talented and wonderful group of girls and I have great confidence in their ability to go out and represent the United States to the best of their ability."
Sacramone, who lives and trains in Massachusetts, is heading back home to the U.S. to meet with an Achilles' tendon specialist, USA Gymnastics stated.
Returning in time for the 2012 Olympics will be a difficult task for Sacramone, 23, who is known for her power on vault and floor exercise. A recovery is not impossible; U.S. gymnast Courtney Kupets tore her Achilles at the 2003 World Gymnastics Championships and returned to win two medals at the 2004 Olympics. The 2003 Worlds took place in August, giving Kupets the luxury of nearly 12 months to recover; the 2012 Olympics are 10 months from now.
Sacramone has nine world championships medals, tied for the U.S. record with Nastia Liukin and Shannon Miller. She is known for her leadership on the floor as much as for her power and personality on the podium.
"Even injured, she has demonstrated her leadership skills and provided inspiration for her team," said Kathy Kelly, vice president of the women's program for USA Gymnastics. "She has shown grace and maturity in dealing with this and has gone out of her way to help her teammates get in the right frame of mind for tomorrow's qualification round. We will miss her when we take to the floor, and we hope her surgery goes well next week."
External Link: Alicia Sacramone Official Website