‘I Thought My Eye Had Fallen Out’: Olympic Swimmer Withdraws After Brutal Injury

Photo by Adam Pretty. Getty Images.

Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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The United Kingdom’s Hector Pardoe withdrew from the Men’s Olympic Marathon Swim — a 10km in open water — after someone’s elbow smashed his right eye socket, Euro Sport reported.

Pardoe said he thought he lost an eye after another swimmer’s elbow hit him during the last lap of the race at the Tokyo Olympics, according to Euro Sport. He was unable to finish the race and suffered a cut above his eye, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Team USA Swimmer Caeleb Dressel Has Three Gold Medals From Tokyo, But His Family Keeps Stealing The Show)

“I couldn’t see anything and thought my eye had fallen out in the water and I was going up to the lifeguard screaming ‘my eye, my eye, is it OK?’” Pardoe told BBC.

Pardoe said he panicked when he realized he was behind and would not finish in the top five. He caught up with the group and finished in the top 10 before he pulled out of the race, according to BBC.

Pardoe said the event seemed like “a brutal contact sport,” according to BBC.

“It’s fine, I’ve just got a big stitch they’ll sort in the village, but it’s bleeding everywhere,” he said.

Germany’s Florian Wellbrock won the race.