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Brutal Sports Injuries That Changed These Pro-Athletes’ Lives

Joe Theismann In the history of football, one haunting moment stands out—the career-ending injury suffered by quarterback Joe Theismann on that fateful Monday Night Football game… Will Lewis - December 30, 2023
Joe Theismann
[Image via USA Today]

Joe Theismann

In the history of football, one haunting moment stands out—the career-ending injury suffered by quarterback Joe Theismann on that fateful Monday Night Football game in 1985. As Theismann dropped back to pass, he found himself on a collision course with New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor. In the end, the impact was catastrophic, resulting in a compound fracture of Theismann’s leg that sent shockwaves through the stadium and reverberated across the nation. The gruesome scene, broadcast to millions on national television, forced Theismann into immediate retirement, abruptly ending a career that had seen him lead the Washington Redskins to a Super Bowl victory and earn multiple Pro Bowl selections.

The incident not only highlighted the physical toll and unpredictability inherent in the game but also left an unforgettable mark on the broader sports world, forever associating Theismann’s name with the fragility of athletic careers and the brutal reality of on-field injuries. The aftermath of that night became a watershed moment, prompting a reevaluation of safety protocols in the NFL and initiating discussions about the potential psychological impact on players witnessing such catastrophic injuries. Theismann’s journey from the pinnacle of success to a career-ending injury remains etched in the memories of football fans, serving as a somber reminder of the risks that accompany the pursuit of greatness on the gridiron.

Bo Jackson
[Image via ESPN]

Bo Jackson

Bo Jackson, a rare two-sport phenomenon in football and baseball, faced a career-altering hip injury that transcended the boundaries of both sports. In the 1991 playoffs, while playing as a running back for the Los Angeles Raiders, Jackson attempted to make a tackle that would ultimately mark the end of his football and baseball careers. The tackle led to a dislocated hip and avascular necrosis, a condition that restricts blood flow to the bone. This double blow not only shattered Jackson’s dreams of a dual-sport legacy but also left a void in the sports world.

Known for his extraordinary athleticism and prowess, Jackson’s devastating injury served as a stark reminder of the risky nature of elite athleticism. The profound impact of that single moment emphasized the fine line between success and catastrophe, resonating far beyond the realms of football and baseball and imprinting the name Bo Jackson in the collective memory of sports enthusiasts worldwide. Beyond the physical implications, Jackson’s story sparked conversations about the delicate balance between pushing the limits of human performance and the potential toll on an athlete’s long-term well-being. His journey became a cautionary tale about the risks inherent in pursuing greatness in multiple sports simultaneously.

Derrick Rose
[Image via Bleacher Report]

Derrick Rose

The 2012 NBA playoffs took an unexpected turn when Derrick Rose, the league’s MVP and the Chicago Bulls’ linchpin, suffered a career-altering injury in the opening game. Known for his explosive speed and agility, Rose tore his ACL while attempting a routine jump stop—a seemingly innocuous move that would redefine the trajectory of his career. The injury not only sidelined him for the remainder of the playoffs but cast a lingering shadow on his subsequent seasons.

Rose’s once-promising career became a tale of resilience and recovery, as he navigated the arduous path back to the hardwood. The incident not only emphasized the vulnerability of star players but also shed light on the challenges they face in returning to peak performance after a severe ligament tear. Rose’s journey became emblematic of the highs and lows inherent in professional sports, where the line between triumph and tragedy can be as thin as a ligament stretched to its breaking point. Beyond the physical recovery, Rose’s story also spurred discussions about the mental fortitude required for elite athletes to overcome significant setbacks and maintain their competitive edge.

Mike Utley
[Image via ClickOnDetroit]

Mike Utley

In the bruising arena of American football, few injuries carry the weight and poignancy as the tragic spinal injury suffered by Detroit Lions offensive lineman Mike Utley in 1991. During a game against the Los Angeles Rams, a routine tackle went awry, leaving Utley paralyzed from the chest down. The devastating outcome of that singular play not only ended Utley’s football career but also sparked a broader conversation about player safety in a sport renowned for its high-impact collisions.

Utley’s resilience in the face of adversity and subsequent advocacy for spinal cord injury research have become an enduring part of his legacy. His injury served as a catalyst for increased awareness and ongoing efforts to enhance safety measures in football, prompting the sports community to confront the inherent risks and seek ways to mitigate them. Utley’s journey, marked by personal triumphs and an unwavering commitment to improving the lives of those affected by spinal cord injuries, transformed his story from one of tragedy to a beacon of inspiration and change in the world of sports.

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[Image via FirstSportz]

Monica Seles

The serene world of tennis was shattered in 1993 when the sport’s prodigy, Monica Seles, fell victim to a shocking and brutal act of violence. During a match in Hamburg, Germany, Seles was stabbed by a mentally disturbed fan, an incident that would not only put a halt to her illustrious career but also expose the vulnerability of athletes to unforeseen threats. The stabbing kept Seles out of competitive tennis for more than two years, robbing her of what should have been her prime playing years.

The incident resonated far beyond the confines of tennis, prompting a reevaluation of security measures in professional sports. Seles’ triumphant return to the court later in her career became a testament to her resilience, but the incident remains etched in the collective memory of sports fans as a chilling reminder of the potential dangers faced by those in the spotlight. Seles’ journey became a rallying point for athlete safety and security in sports, prompting organizations to reassess and bolster measures to protect players from unforeseen and malicious threats.

Gordon Hayward
[Image via Cleveland.com]

Gordon Hayward

The opening game of the 2017-2018 NBA season turned into a nightmare for Gordon Hayward, as a seemingly routine play resulted in a horrific ankle injury that would reshape his career. Attempting an alley-oop, Hayward landed awkwardly, suffering a dislocated ankle and fractured tibia. The severity of the injury not only sidelined him for the entire season but also sent shockwaves through the Boston Celtics and the basketball world.

Hayward’s journey back to the court became a narrative of perseverance and recovery, as he faced the physical and mental challenges of rehabilitation. The incident underscored the fragility of an athlete’s career and the emotional toll such injuries take on both the player and the fans, forever altering the trajectory of a season and, in Hayward’s case, a promising career. Beyond the physical aspects, Hayward’s resilience became a source of inspiration for athletes and fans alike, shows the tenacity required to overcome significant setbacks and return to the demanding world of professional basketball.

Niki Lauda
[Image via The Sun]

Niki Lauda

In the high-speed world of Formula 1, the 1976 German Grand Prix witnessed a moment that transcended racing when Niki Lauda faced a life-altering crash. Lauda’s car caught fire, resulting in severe burns and lung damage. Despite the physical toll, Lauda’s remarkable comeback to racing showcased unparalleled determination. The incident not only highlighted the risks inherent in motor racing but also prompted crucial advancements in safety measures within the sport.

Lauda’s resilience and subsequent success on the track became a testament to the indomitable spirit of a racing legend who defied the odds and left an enduring impact on the world of Formula 1. Beyond his personal journey, Lauda’s crash served as a catalyst for significant changes in safety regulations in motorsports, emphasizing the ongoing commitment to minimizing the risks faced by drivers. The incident marked a turning point in Formula 1 history, prompting a collective effort to prioritize the well-being of drivers and ensure the sport’s continued evolution toward enhanced safety.

Maurice Stokes
[Image via Reddit]

Maurice Stokes

The tragic trajectory of Maurice Stokes’ life and career took a devastating turn in 1958 during the final game of the NBA season. Stokes, a rising star, fell and hit his head, leading to encephalopathy and paralysis. The incident abruptly ended Stokes’ promising career and brought attention to the long-term consequences of head injuries in sports. Stokes’ plight became a catalyst for increased awareness and advocacy, influencing subsequent policies on player safety and laying the groundwork for a more comprehensive approach to head injuries in professional sports.

Stokes’ story not only underscored the physical risks faced by athletes but also initiated a broader conversation about the ethical responsibility of sports organizations to support and protect players. The aftermath of his tragic injury became a pivotal moment in sports history, inspiring initiatives to address the long-term impact of head injuries and ensure the well-being of athletes both during their careers and beyond.

Eric LeGrand
[Image via NJ.com]

Eric LeGrand

College football Rutgers player Eric LeGrand faced a life-altering spinal cord injury during a 2010 kick-off return. The collision left him paralyzed from the neck down, abruptly ending a promising football career. LeGrand’s journey became an emblem of resilience and inspiration as he defied the odds and embraced a new chapter in life. The incident, while devastating, sparked conversations about the risks associated with on-field injuries and the need for enhanced safety measures in football.

LeGrand’s unwavering spirit and determination to make a positive impact on others stand as a testament to the human capacity for triumph over adversity. His story became a rallying point for increased attention to player safety in college football, prompting institutions to reassess protocols and prioritize the well-being of student-athletes. LeGrand’s advocacy work and his ability to turn a personal tragedy into a platform for positive change solidified his status as an inspirational figure in sports and beyond.

Keri Strug
[Image via Kveller]

Keri Strug

The 1996 Olympics in Atlanta witnessed a defining moment in gymnastics when Keri Strug, despite an ankle injury, executed a vault that secured the United States’ gold medal. Strug’s courageous performance, landing on one foot, became an iconic image of Olympic triumph. However, the injury significantly impacted her future gymnastics career, exposing the intense physical demands placed on gymnasts and the sacrifices made for the pursuit of Olympic glory.

Strug’s indomitable spirit in the face of adversity continues to resonate, serving as a reminder of the dedication and sacrifice required to reach the pinnacle of athletic achievement. Beyond the individual accomplishment, Strug’s vault became a symbol of team unity and the unwavering pursuit of excellence, inspiring generations of athletes to overcome challenges and perform under pressure. Her legacy extends beyond the realm of gymnastics, embodying the resilience and determination that define the Olympic spirit.

Chris Borland
[Image via Wiscnews.com]

Chris Borland

Linebacker Chris Borland sent shockwaves through the NFL in 2015 when he chose to retire after just one season due to concerns about the long-term effects of head injuries. Borland’s decision to prioritize his health over a potentially lucrative career brought attention to the ongoing debate about player safety in football and the risks associated with repetitive head trauma. His stance sparked a broader conversation within the sports community and fueled efforts to better understand and address the impact of head injuries on athletes.

Borland’s choice to step away from the game became a pivotal moment in the ongoing evolution of safety measures in football, prompting a reevaluation of the physical toll exacted on players in pursuit of glory. Beyond the immediate impact on his own career, Borland’s decision ignited discussions about the ethical responsibility of sports organizations to prioritize player well-being and implement measures to minimize long-term health risks. His advocacy work after retirement further solidified his role as a thought leader in the intersection of sports, health, and player safety.

Peyton Manning
[Image via The Denver Post]

Peyton Manning

In 2011, future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning faced a career-altering moment when he underwent neck surgery, marking a turning point in his illustrious tenure with the Indianapolis Colts. The injury and subsequent surgeries kept Manning off the field for the entire 2011 season, eventually leading to his release by the Colts. Manning’s departure from the team he had led for over a decade was a somber chapter in NFL history, illustrating the inevitable challenges that athletes face as they age.

The incident reinforces the delicate balance between the pursuit of greatness and the physical toll exacted on even the most iconic figures in the world of professional football. Manning’s journey from a season on the sidelines to a remarkable comeback with the Denver Broncos became a testament to his resilience and enduring skill. Beyond the individual narrative, Manning’s experience prompted discussions about the broader issue of aging athletes and the evolving understanding of how to manage their careers in the face of physical challenges. His legacy continues to influence conversations about the twilight years of iconic athletes and the considerations that shape their exit from the game.

Mariano Rivera
[Image via The New York Times]

Mariano Rivera

Baseball’s unparalleled closer, Mariano Rivera, encountered an unforeseen and career-altering moment during the 2012 season. In a twist of fate, he tore his ACL while engaging in the routine activity of shagging fly balls during batting practice. This seemingly innocuous event led to a premature end to Rivera’s season, casting a shadow over what would become his final campaign in professional baseball. The injury served as a stark reminder that even legends like Rivera are not immune to the capricious nature of fate that can profoundly impact a career. Despite the setback, Rivera’s eventual return to the mound showcased the indomitable determination that defined his career, but the incident left an enduring mark on his storied legacy.

Rivera’s resilience became a testament to his unwavering commitment to the game, turning an unexpected injury into a chapter of his career that, while challenging, ultimately added depth to his narrative. The incident served as a poignant reminder that even the most celebrated athletes must confront unforeseen challenges, and it showed Rivera’s ability to face adversity with grace and determination, ultimately contributing to the lasting impact he left on the sport.

Johnny Unitas
[Image via Sports Illustrated]

Johnny Unitas

The legendary Johnny Unitas, celebrated for his prolific career with the Baltimore Colts, faced a career-altering elbow injury in 1968 that signaled the conclusion of his time as a starting quarterback. The injury not only affected Unitas’ throwing ability but also marked a significant shift in the landscape of professional football. Despite this setback, Unitas’ enduring impact on the sport remained undeniable, and his story serves as a poignant reminder of how injuries can reshape the trajectories of even the most iconic players.

Unitas’ journey from the pinnacle of success to the challenges of navigating a career-defining injury echoes through the annals of football history. His legacy endures, not only for his on-field accomplishments but also for his resilience in the face of adversity. Unitas became a symbol of determination, showcasing how athletes, even in the twilight of their careers, can leave a lasting mark on the sport they helped define.

Dale Earnhardt
[Image via Motorsport.com]

Dale Earnhardt

The 2001 Daytona 500 etched a tragic moment in NASCAR history when Dale Earnhardt Sr., an icon of racing, suffered a fatal crash on the final lap. The incident sent shockwaves through the racing community and prompted increased scrutiny of safety measures in the high-speed world of NASCAR. Earnhardt’s legacy endured, but the incident enhanced the inherent dangers of high-speed competition and fueled ongoing efforts to enhance safety protocols.

Earnhardt’s tragic end served as a somber reminder of the risks faced by drivers in the pursuit of victory. The incident not only left a tragic mark on the racing world but also initiated a renewed commitment to driver safety. The legacy of Dale Earnhardt Sr. became a catalyst for change, sparking ongoing discussions and advancements in safety measures within the sport, ensuring that future generations of drivers could compete in a safer racing environment.

Marc Savard
[Image via 98.5 The Sports Hub]

Marc Savard

The hard-hitting world of hockey bore witness to the toll of repeated concussions when Marc Savard faced a series of head injuries leading to post-concussion syndrome, forcing him into early retirement in 2011. The impact of head injuries on athletes gained heightened attention in the aftermath of Savard’s situation, contributing to ongoing efforts to address player safety in contact sports.

Savard’s story became emblematic of the challenges faced by athletes dealing with the long-term consequences of concussions. His premature retirement marked a turning point in the conversation about the well-being of players in the world of professional hockey. Savard’s experience prompted a reevaluation of safety protocols and fueled ongoing discussions about the need to prioritize player health in a sport known for its physical intensity.

Bert Trautmann
[Image via The Independent]

Bert Trautmann

The 1956 FA Cup Final witnessed one of the most remarkable displays of dedication when Manchester City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann played with a broken neck. Despite the injury, Trautmann completed the match, earning his team the victory and etching his name into football folklore. However, the long-term consequences of the injury became apparent, affecting Trautmann’s career and showcasing the sacrifices athletes sometimes make for the love of the game.

Trautmann’s indomitable spirit became a symbol of the dedication and resilience that define the world of football. His courageous act showcased the extraordinary lengths to which players go to honor their commitment to the sport. Trautmann’s legacy transcends the traditional boundaries of football folklore, standing as a testament to the indomitable human spirit and the sacrifices made for the love of the game.

Jabari Parker
[Image via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

Jabari Parker

Highly touted NBA prospect Jabari Parker faced a significant setback in 2014 when he tore his ACL during a game with the Milwaukee Bucks. The injury occurred in a pivotal moment of Parker’s early development in the league, boasting the precarious nature of a professional athlete’s career, where injuries can disrupt even the most promising trajectories.

Parker’s journey through rehabilitation and his eventual return to the court calls attention to the challenges faced by athletes in overcoming injuries that threaten to derail their careers. The incident served as a poignant reminder of the physical toll exacted on young talents and the resilience required to navigate the unforgiving landscape of professional basketball. Parker’s story became an inspiration for aspiring athletes, showcasing the determination needed to overcome setbacks and reclaim one’s place on the court.

Ian Thorpe
[Image via Sporting News]

Ian Thorpe

Australian swimming sensation Ian Thorpe, celebrated as the “Thorpedo,” faced a formidable adversary in the form of health challenges that eventually marked the beginning of his early retirement in 2006. Thorpe’s struggles were twofold, grappling with the debilitating effects of glandular fever and a concurrent shoulder injury. The toll on his body was profound, impacting his capacity to compete at the pinnacle of international swimming. Despite being a dominant force in the pool, these health setbacks marked a poignant conclusion to Thorpe’s competitive swimming career, emphasizing the physical toll and sacrifices that elite athletes endure in their relentless pursuit of greatness. Thorpe’s departure left a void in Australian swimming, symbolizing the conclusion of an era defined by his extraordinary achievements and the challenges he confronted in his quest for excellence.

The impact of Thorpe’s retirement reverberated beyond the aquatic realm, resonating in discussions about the demanding nature of elite sports and the toll it takes on the human body. His story prompted reflections on the fragility of athletic careers, with Thorpe serving as a poignant example of the sacrifices inherent in the pursuit of excellence. As the sporting world bid farewell to this swimming luminary, his legacy endured not only through medals and records but also as a testament to the resilience required to navigate the physical and emotional rigors of professional sports.

Greg Oden
[Image via wcngg.com]

Greg Oden

Greg Oden, once hailed as a basketball prodigy and considered a generational talent, found his promising NBA career tragically derailed by chronic knee injuries. The towering center, selected as the first overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, faced an uphill battle against persistent health issues that plagued him throughout his professional journey. Oden’s struggle to stay healthy limited his playing time, preventing him from realizing the full extent of his athletic potential on the basketball court. His narrative serves as a cautionary tale, illustrating the capricious nature of professional sports careers and the profound impact that sustained injuries can have on an athlete’s trajectory.

The high expectations placed on Oden as a transformative force in basketball were eclipsed by the harsh reality of his physical struggles. The unpredictability of injuries, especially in a sport as demanding as professional basketball, was starkly evident in Oden’s journey. His story became a somber reminder of the fragility of athletic success and the obstacles that can impede even the most promising careers. Oden’s resilience in the face of adversity and his subsequent impact off the court as an advocate for player health contribute to the multifaceted legacy he leaves within the realm of professional basketball.

Steve Young
[Image via The Mercury News]

Steve Young

Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, revered for his exceptional skills and leadership on the football field, confronted the premature end of his illustrious career in 1999 due to the cumulative effects of multiple concussions. Young’s decision to retire was not only a personal one but also sparked widespread discussions about player safety and the urgent need for measures to protect athletes from the long-term consequences of head injuries. The quarterback’s journey from the pinnacle of success to the realization of the potential dangers associated with repeated concussions was emblematic of the evolving understanding of head trauma in football.

Young’s retirement marked a watershed moment in the ongoing dialogue about player safety in the NFL. His decision to prioritize his health and well-being over the continuation of his storied career prompted a reevaluation of the protocols in place for managing head injuries in football. Young’s legacy extended beyond the gridiron, as his experiences contributed to a paradigm shift in how the sports community approached and addressed the serious implications of concussions, emphasizing the critical importance of safeguarding athletes’ long-term health.

Gale Sayers
[Image via The New York Times]

Gale Sayers

Nicknamed the “Kansas Comet,” Gale Sayers, a dynamic running back whose career was defined by remarkable talent and agility, faced a heartbreaking conclusion due to knee injuries in the 1970s. Sayers’ prowess on the football field was undeniable, but the physical toll of multiple knee surgeries compromised his once-effortless grace and explosiveness. The vulnerability of even the most gifted athletes to the rigors of professional sports became starkly apparent as Sayers battled through the challenges posed by these persistent injuries.

The dynamic running back’s story served as a grim reminder of the inherent sacrifices demanded by the pursuit of excellence in professional sports. Sayers’ impact transcended his on-field achievements, influencing conversations about the toll that physical injuries can take on an athlete’s career and the lasting consequences they may face beyond their playing days. Despite the premature end to his football journey, Sayers’ legacy endured as a testament to his resilience.

Kobe Bryant
[Image via Ace Physical Therapy]

Kobe Bryant

In 2013, basketball icon Kobe Bryant, a living legend in the NBA, encountered a career-altering moment when he suffered a devastating Achilles tendon tear during a game against the Golden State Warriors. The injury, occurring late in the season, marked the beginning of the end of Bryant’s illustrious basketball career. The incident brought into sharp focus the harsh reality that even the most legendary athletes are not immune to the wear and tear of a demanding professional career.

The Achilles tendon injury not only forced Bryant to confront physical rehabilitation but also prompted a period of introspection and transition. Bryant’s journey from the court to recovery became a defining chapter in his narrative, showcasing his resilience, determination, and unyielding commitment to the game. The incident emphasized the physical toll endured by athletes who competed at the highest level and showcased the challenges of maintaining greatness over an extended career. As Kobe made his way through the last stretch of his career after dealing with injuries, he showed that he could still make a lasting mark on the game. It was like a proof of how his legacy goes beyond just playing on the basketball court.

Bobby Orr
[Image via USA Today]

Bobby Orr

Revered as one of the greatest hockey players of all time, Bobby Orr faced a formidable adversary in the latter part of his career—a series of knee injuries that left an indelible mark on his playing days. The wear and tear on Orr’s knees became a defining narrative, influencing not only his playing time but also affecting his on-ice performance. Orr’s story reflected the physical toll exacted by a sport as demanding as hockey, even on the most gifted athletes.

Orr’s struggles with knee injuries illuminated the challenges faced by athletes in maintaining peak performance over the course of a professional career. Despite the setbacks, Orr’s enduring impact on the sport continued to resonate through his skill, determination, and resilience. His legacy is a reminder of the sacrifices made in the pursuit of greatness and the complex interplay between talent, durability, and the physical demands of a sport as intense as hockey. Bobby Orr’s hockey journey, full of highs and lows, is a key thread in the awesome story of hockey. It’s left a lasting mark on fans’ hearts and the sport’s history.

Magomed Abdusalamov
[Image via USA Today]

Magomed Abdusalamov

In 2013, heavyweight boxer Magomed Abdusalamov experienced the devastating consequences of a brutal bout against Mike Perez. The prolonged and punishing nature of the fight resulted in severe brain injuries for Abdusalamov, leading to long-term health issues. The tragic outcome of the match not only enhanced the inherent dangers of boxing but also fueled discussions about the need for increased safety measures in the sport.

Abdusalamov’s story became emblematic of the fine line between the pursuit of glory in the ring and the essential imperative of preserving an athlete’s well-being. The aftermath of the match served as a somber reminder of the profound risks associated with the sport of boxing and prompted a critical examination of the safety protocols in place for its participants. Abdusalamov’s tragic fate inspired a collective call to action within the boxing community, sparking conversations about the ethical responsibilities of those involved in the sport and the imperative of prioritizing the health and safety of athletes above all else. The undeniable impact of Abdusalamov’s story transcended the realm of boxing, serving as a catalyst for broader discussions about the ethical dimensions of combat sports and the ongoing commitment to safeguarding the well-being of those who participate.

Where Do We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

Joe Theismann: https://www.washingtonian.com/2015/09/29/the-oral-history-of-joe-theismanns-broken-leg/

Bo Jackson: https://www.yardbarker.com/general_sports/articles/bo_jackson_career_retrospective/s1__33402407

Derrick Rose: https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/sports/nba/grizzlies/2023/12/27/derrick-rose-family-ja-morant-grizzlies-career-nba/71818221007/

Mike Utley: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2023/jan/31/another-bump-in-the-road-paralyzed-in-a-1991-nfl-g/

Monica Seles: https://www.hindustantimes.com/sports/tennis/monica-seles-tennis-golden-girl-who-was-stabbed-out-of-jealousy-turns-50-101701670254363.html

Gordon Hayward: https://www.nba.com/news/celtics-gordon-hayward-suffers-lower-left-leg-injury

Niki Lauda: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/21/obituaries/niki-lauda-dead.html

Maurice Stokes: https://www.espn.com/classic/biography/s/stokes_maurice.html

Eric LeGrand: https://abc7ny.com/damar-hamlin-eric-legrand-buffalo-bills-rutgers/12647382/

Keri Strug: https://olympics.com/en/news/kerri-strug-the-gymnast-who-battled-through-pain-for-a-taste-of-olympic-glory

Chris Borland: https://www.espn.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/12496480/san-francisco-49ers-linebacker-chris-borland-retires-head-injury-concerns

Peyton Manning: https://www.revengeofthebirds.com/2012/2/8/2786079/some-clarity-on-peytons-injury

Mariano Rivera: https://www.espn.com/new-york/mlb/story/_/id/7888133/mariano-rivera-new-york-yankees-torn-acl

Johnny Unitas: https://www.thomloverro.com/single-post/1999/08/11/dealt-a-bad-hand-former-qb-unitas-in-fight-with-nfl-over-disability-claim

Dale Earnhardt: https://www.espn.com/racing/nascar/story/_/id/30867892/dale-earnhardt-death-daytona-500-revisiting-day-crash

Marc Savard: https://www.theplayerstribune.com/articles/marc-savard-bruins-hell-and-back

Bert Trautmann: https://www.history.co.uk/this-day-in-history/05-may/bert-trautmann-breaks-neck-during-fa-cup-final

Jabari Parker: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2302488-jabari-parker-reportedly-will-miss-remainder-of-2014-15-season-with-torn-acl

Ian Thorpe: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/apr/08/ian-thorpe-unlikely-swim-again-infections

Greg Oden: https://www.marca.com/en/basketball/nba/2023/03/12/640dac3f268e3e5f4f8b45b4.html

Steve Young: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sports/league-of-denial/the-frontline-interview-steve-young/#

Gale Sayers: https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/gale-sayers-bears-hall-of-fame-running-back-dies-at-77/

Kobe Bryant: https://www.cbs19.tv/article/sports/the-last-game-kobe-bryants-last-dazzling-image-of-a-legend/501-c6d549b0-8c97-499e-b3a1-c8b2ebf7e859

Bobby Orr: https://ontheshelf.ca/2019/04/15/test-1/

Magomed Abdusalamov: https://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/28163500/disabled-ex-boxer-magomed-abdusalamov-thankful-condition-improves

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