Genevieve Gregson has opened up on feeling “broken” by her Tokyo Olympics heartache as she continues to wait for surgery on her ruptured Achilles.
The Australian suffered the significant injury while attempting to clear the last barrier in the women’s steeplechase final, which took place on her 32nd birthday.
Gregson has now indicated doctors will operate on both legs at some stage this week.
Gregson had entered the medal race battling a sore Achilles in her left leg yet it was her healthy right leg that gave out.
Until the surgery, she has been tasked with injecting herself to thin her blood and avoid a clot from the injury.
“I’m not good at it,” Gregson wrote.
The triple Olympian suggested she has not called time on her career but the path forward has already begun to leave its mark.
“I’ve been injured many times before. In fact my career has been riddled with injury and I’ve spent more time rehabbing than I have racing healthy,” Gregson wrote from her plane home to Australia.
“I’m usually an open book and don’t bottle much emotion, especially with family and friends. I am disciplined and goal orientated so I usually turn my mind to problem solving and quickly plan my next move.
“However this time when I go to schedule my next few weeks, I break down and struggle to get my mind back on track.
“For days now I have felt just deeply sad. A type of sad that if I’m not distracted, I feel lost, empty and even a little scared.
“I’m not scared of the injury, rehab, or the year that is ahead of me. I know what work a double Achilles surgery will require and I know I can put in the effort to pull myself back up. That to me is bearable to comprehend.
“What is harder to comprehend is that this full tendon rupture has created an immediate halt to all my work I had layered for so long. I got in such a good place but was derailed from a freak injury.
“A missed chance to finish high up in my final and prove myself on the world stage. A missed opportunity to lower my Australian record and a lack of performance to show how far I’d come and how hard I’d worked.
“I wasn’t ready to stop and I feel broken and empty.”
Gregson set what was then a personal best but did not make it out of the 3000m steeplechase heats in her debut Olympics at London 2012.
Four years later at Rio 2016 she reached the final and went 16 seconds faster, setting another new personal best, to finish ninth.
Gregson also made the final of the 5000m run in Rio, recording a personal best and finishing 12th.
“As a little girl I dreamed of being an Olympian. Although these Olympics may have broken my heart this time around, they have also made my dreams come true starting back in 2012,” Gregson wrote.
“If I had told my 12-year-old self that in 20 years you’ll be a 3x Olympian and a 3x Olympic finalist, my heart would have burst. I will have those achievements forever.
“I do have bigger dreams in my head that will have to be sidelined for now, however I also chose this sport for a reason – I love a challenge and I’m never looking for the easy road.
“I have sat back in awe of the athletes competing this championship – my teammates and even strangers. I find peace in watching others, even when I’m hurting, because I bleed this sport and what we all do.
“So as I sit here on the plane home still slightly fractured, I’m ready to start a new chapter. Goodbye Olympics, I’m not finished, and I will see you all soon.”