Everybody loves a good comeback story! Athletes such as Peyton Manning, Lindsey Vonn and Bethany Hamilton are examples of competitors who have made remarkable returns to their respective sports after devastating injuries.
From football stars to Olympians, scroll through to relive some of the most memorable comeback stories.
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After injuring herself during a vault routine as part of the Magnificent Seven in the 1996 Summer Olympics, Strug shocked the world by fighting through the intense pain and nailing her final vault to give Team USA enough points for the gold medal. Her injury was later diagnosed as a severe sprain and two torn ligaments.
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A neck injury and subsequent surgery forced the former Indianapolis Colts quarterback to miss the entire 2011 football season. He spent the year working on his recovery and returned to the sport with the Denver Broncos in 2012. Manning and the Broncos went on to win the Super Bowl in 2015.
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Forced to sit out of the 2014 Winter Olympics because of an injury to her right knee, the alpine skier is set to return to the games and is going for the gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
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Peterson suffered from a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee in December 2011. He returned to the Minnesota Vikings at the beginning of the 2012 season and won the NFL Offensive Player of the Year and the NFL Most Valuable Player awards.
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The former MLB pitcher was the first person to undergo ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, a revolutionary surgery performed for the first time — on John — in 1974. After missing the 1975 season to rehabilitate his arm, John returned to the mound and won 164 games before retiring in 1989. The aforementioned surgery is now known as Tommy John surgery.
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The Team USA gymnast faced a number of injures, including a torn Achilles in 2010 and torn ACL in 2012. Orozco went on to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics and won the U.S. Championship in 2012. While he suffered from another torn Achilles in 2015, he overcame the odds and won a spot on the team for the 2016 games.
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After tearing the labrum in his right shoulder in December 2005, Brees’ career was in jeopardy. However, the quarterback returned to the NFL the following year and won the Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints in 2009. He is also a two-time NFL Offense Player of the Year.
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The New England Patriots quarterback tore the ACL and MLC in his left knee during the first game of the 2008 season. While he sat out the remainder of the season, Brady returned the following year and has since-appeared in four Super Bowl games, leading his team to victory in 2015 and 2017.
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The professional surfer survived a shark attack in 2003, in which her left arm was bitten off, but she didn’t let the devastating accident stop her. Hamilton returned to professional surfing the following year and has won a variety of competitions. Her comeback also inspired the 2011 film Soul Surfer.
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