It’s hard not to feel for Artur Nogal after his unfortunate fate in the 500m speed skating event on Monday.
The Polish skater’s Olympic dreams were dashed when he suffered a heartbreaking slip at the start line right as the competition began.
— 7Olympics (@7olympics) February 19, 2018
Nogal’s anguish manifested itself almost immediately. Here is another angle:
— Adam Szczebiot ????????(@AdamSzczebiot) February 19, 2018
The 27-year-old would eventually get to his feet and finish the race. However, he ended up 36th out of 36 with a time of 58.71 (which was over 24 seconds behind gold medalist Håvard Lorentzen of Norway).
Beyond just the four years of training and preparation that culminated in that moment, what makes it even more gut-wrenching is that the 500m is the only event Nogal is competing in at PyeongChang (per his official Olympic profile).
We have definitely seen some similarly heartbreaking moments in previous Olympics as well, but Nogal’s slip has to be one of the roughest breaks for an athlete so far in this year’s Games.