French gymnast breaks leg during vault landing

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 06: Samir Ait Said of France receives medical attention after breaking his leg while competing on the vault during the Artistic Gymnastics Men's Team qualification on Day 1 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Rio Olympic Arena on August 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

***WARNING: Images within this story may be disturbing to some viewers***

The Olympics for French gymnast Samir Ait Said ended in brutal fashion Saturday when he suffered a broken left leg while vaulting during the men’s team qualifications.

It was the kind of injury that made spectators hurriedly look away and caused teammates to bury their heads.

French gymnastics officials tweeted that he fractured his tibia and fibula and would have surgery as soon as possible.

They said he thanked fans for their support and would be back to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Said landed awkwardly after doing two backward flips off the vault.

According to USA Today, the leg breaking made a sharp crack that could be heard throughout the venue.

As Said grabbed around his knee and looked up at his lower left leg, he saw it flop unnaturally to the side. The 26-year-old covered his face with his right hand and was silent, perhaps too in shock to scream.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 06: Samir Ait Said of France breaks his leg while competing on the vault during the Artistic Gymnastics Men's Team qualification on Day 1 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Rio Olympic Arena on August 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 06: Samir Ait Said of France breaks his leg while competing on the vault during the Artistic Gymnastics Men’s Team qualification on Day 1 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Rio Olympic Arena on August 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

He was taken off on a stretcher, giving a wave to the crowd as he was carried away.

“It is very difficult for the team. He was one of the friendliest on the team which is very difficult — he came to win a medal and gave everything 200 percent,” team leader Corrine Moustard-Callon told reporters.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 06: Samir Ait Said of France receives medical attention after breaking his leg while competing on the vault during the Artistic Gymnastics Men's Team qualification on Day 1 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Rio Olympic Arena on August 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 06: Samir Ait Said of France receives medical attention after breaking his leg while competing on the vault during the Artistic Gymnastics Men’s Team qualification on Day 1 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Rio Olympic Arena on August 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

It is not Said’s first major injury after a vault.

He missed the 2012 Olympics because he fractured his right leg in three places at the European Championships, according to the NBC Olympics website.

CNN’s Elwyn Lopez and Matias Grez contributed to this report.