Kerri Strug won a gold medal in an event she never set her sights on. And she'll sit out the one event she came to the Olympics to win.
Her painful vault to history Tuesday left Strug with a sprained left ankle, two torn ligaments _ and out of today's all-around final.
"I'm going to try and get my ankle healed so I can compete maybe in the event finals," she said. "I'm a little bit down, but I'm still excited that we won the gold."
Strug is hoping physical therapy and electronic stimulation will fix her leg in time to compete in the vault final Sunday and the floor exercise Monday.
"She basically (has) what we would expect following an injury of this type," said John Lehginan, head physician for the U.S. Olympic team. "We are aggressively treating it and (her status is) day-to-day."
Luan Peszek, spokeswoman for USA Gymnastics, said Strug had her ankle in an ice-filled medical boot and her foot was raised when the team met Wednesday.
Strug had qualified for the all-around competition by finishing seventh overall and third among the U.S. team members. The all-around competition consists of the top 36 individual scores from the compulsories and optionals, with a maximum of three per country.
Strug's replacement is 14-year-old Dominique Moceanu, who finished fifth in the event at last year's World Championships.
Kerri Strug has a lateral sprain. Because the outer ankle is more stable than the inner ankle, the ankle is likely to turn inward, stretching or tearing the ligaments.
Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons