ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Connor Callihan said he was in pain throughout a race on Monday, but didn’t think much of it until he was about five feet from the finish line and heard a snap. Callihan broke his leg in three places, but still managed to finish the race by crawling across the finish line according to WLOS.
“I know people will remember that for a long time. But I’ve gotta thank all my guys, Coach Devine and the team for inspiring me to do something like that,” Callihan told WLOS.
On the ground in excruciating pain, he said he was thinking about his team before himself.
“I have to finish. I’m doing this for my team. My team will lose a place in the standings if I don’t,” he said.
After crossing the finish line, he was surrounded by a rush of onlookers who came to his aid. He was taken to a hospital where he had two rods surgically inserted into right leg. His coach said what happened at the race was a defining moment.
“The essence of who Connor is. Things don’t come easily, but he’s willing to push,” Coach Andrew Devine told WLOS.
Callihan said he’s received support from Olympian Manteo Mitchell, who spoke with him via Facetime. Mitchell finished a leg of relay race after breaking his leg, eventually earning a silver medal. Undaunted by the challenge that lies ahead of him, Callihan said he plans to run again.
“I’m gonna come back from this and be a better runner than ever before,” he affirmed.