French Swimmer Dislocates Shoulder While Celebrating Qualifying Win At Olympic Trials

The year’s most anticipated sporting event continues to spawn triumph and tragedy.

French swimmer Rafael Fente-Damers successfully qualified for the Paris Olympics on Tuesday, but while punching the pool waters in joyous celebration at the French Championships in Chartres, the 17-year-old athlete reportedly dislocated his shoulder.

Fente-Damers had just secured his spot on the team by placing second in the 100-meter freestyle final behind Maxime Grousset, when, as seen in footage of his reaction that has since gone viral on social media, he winced in pain before pointing to his shoulder.

While the swimmer has yet to comment on the incident or disclose an exact diagnosis, French outlet L’Equipe reported Tuesday that he dislocated his shoulder. Grousset, who naturally wants the second-best Frenchman by his side at the Olympics, remains hopeful.

“I hope it goes well for him because we’re waiting for him for the relay,” said Grousset, who helped Fente-Damers out of the pool and flagged down medics, per Reuters. “He’s a bit crazy, that’s why he’s good. He’s not afraid of anything and I think he’s going to progress.”

HuffPost has reached out to the French Swimming Federation for comment.

Fente-Damers was certainly all smiles in photos taken later at the winners’ podium despite having his left arm in a swing. L’Equipe reported that his dislocated shoulder — an injury in which the upper arm bone pops out of its socket — had been treated at a local hospital.

The 17-year-old athlete winced in pain before pointing to his shoulder and exiting the pool.
The 17-year-old athlete winced in pain before pointing to his shoulder and exiting the pool. Sebastien Bozon/AFP/Getty Images

Fente-Damers, who completed the freestyle final in 48.14 seconds after Grousset’s time of 47.33, isn’t the first athlete to injure himself ahead of the Olympics. WNBA star Cameron Brink tore her ACL on Tuesday after making the U.S. 3x3 basketball team.

While the injured Los Angeles Sparks rookie is officially getting replaced, Fente-Damers is currently still expected to compete. The swimming portion of this year’s Olympic Games are scheduled to take place from July 27 to Aug. 4 at the París La Défense Arena.

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