Track and field stars, including Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Allyson Felix, and Elaine Thompson-Herah, have thrown their support behind the injured Aisha Praught Leer ahead of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Praught-Leer is nursing a torn meniscus but is still determined to compete.
“I tore my meniscus, a complete, off the bone root tear, on Sunday at training—a freak, shocking accident,” she disclosed on her social media page.
“I heard and felt a painful pop doing a drill, but then proceeded to do one of the best workouts of my life. On Wednesday, I got an MRI, then sat in quiet disbelief with @joebosshard as the doctor told us I need surgery ASAP.”
Thompson-Herah, who is the Rio 2016 sprint double champion, told Praught-Leer in her message: “You got this 🙏🏾”
Fraser-Pryce, Doha 2019 world champion and two-time Olympic Games 100m winner, also wrote to say, “definitely be praying for you!”
Jamaica’s 100m hurdler Megan Tapper wrote: “Aieshaaaaaa 😭😭😭 Jesus!! Sending you lots of love and peace, and healing. Your times coming mama.”
American Nick Willis added: “Both my Beijing and Rio races were run with injuries requiring surgeries after the games…Proud of you, Aish!
Emily Infeld, American middle-distance runner, “Love you so so so so much. That work will all show, just not right now, but it’s in there, and you are amazing and so so loved!! Steadman sisters back with a vengeance in years to come”
Kimberly Williams: “Sending you lots of love and healing prayers.”
Aisha Praught Leer, in her statement, said: “I will line up in Tokyo. When I arrive, I’ll get the fluid drained from my knee and get a cortisone injection (this is legal, and my surgeon understands and supports me in this).
I want to keep believing in the possibility of achieving the wild dreams I store deep in my heart. The reality is they will not happen in Tokyo—running to my ability is simply not possible on a knee without stability. This is the most challenging reality I have faced in my career.
We did nothing wrong. As I said, this was a freak accident. But now, all of my silent work, the beautiful, hard-earned fitness, does not have a chance to see the light of day. The triumph I have visualized so vividly is—poof—gone in one step.
I understand this is sport—just sport. I know the truth that I am more than an athlete. But this sport means everything to me. This is my life’s work, my purpose and my first true love. I am heartbroken.
But I am also grateful my life is buoyed by unrelenting and unconditional love. Today I woke up loving myself (even my stupid-ass left knee), and I consider this a small victory.”