LONDON, (WCNC) -- A local sprinter will come home from the Olympics with a remarkable story.
Manteo Mitchell broke his leg in the middle of the race. He kept on running and helped to secure team USA a place in the final.
“I’m just blessed to be in the position I’m in right now. God has truly blessed me to set me up to be in this position and I’m just honored to be here to represent my country,” said Manteo.
Mitchell is from Shelby, and he traveled to London to particiapate in the men’s 4x400. On the day of the relay, the unimaginable happened.
“I broke my leg in the relay. I got out the first 100 meters. I felt ok then I got out to about 150 and it started feeling weird on the left side of my leg. Then I got to 200 and that’s when I felt it actually snap and break in half,” said Mitchell.
“At that point I contemplated all different things. I just wanted to lay down literally it hurt so bad, but I looked up on the screen and saw Josh Metts, the next out going runner and he was motioning me in to bring it on home,” Mitchell recalled.
“It’s something that really stirs you up. Then to have all those people, 100,000 plus people sitting there cheering for you. I didn’t want to let them down, I didn’t want to let my country down and the 3 guys behind me I didn’t want to let them down either,” he said.
With a broken leg, Mitchell managed to make it to the finish. His efforts helped team USA place in the final.
With his leg still healing, the sprinter has his eyes on 2016.
“Oh yeah, I’m definitely have my eyes set on Rio for 2016, but first I have to get this healthy.”
How fast will he be back on his feet and sprinting around the track?
“I’ve been told it will be ok. I’m in a boot and crutches for 4 to 6 weeks. It was a clean break which means I can heal faster. I’m already applying pressure to it after a day and a half so things are looking forward so far.”
And for all those cheering fans in the crowd and at home?
“Thank you to everyone for supporting me through all of this and the highs and the lows. Even when I didn’t have a name or a face I just really appreciate the support from everyone,” he said.