Zhang Dan's hard fall on the ice of the Palavela made spectators gasp. Her partner had thrown her into the air for an attempted throw quadruple salchow. Zhang missed the landing and painfully collapsed on the ice in a split, hitting the rink's padded boards.
Don't Give Up
"It was so painful that I could hardly stand up," Zhang Dan was quoted as saying. "It challenges the power of a human being."
What followed was one of the most extraordinary moments so far in the 20th Winter Olympic Games.
The 20-year-old from China appeared too hurt to go on, but she consulted with her partner, Zhang Hao, and the pair decided to continue the program. The crowd applauded as she skated a few practice revolutions.
Her courage helped the pair win a silver medal and the appreciation of figure-skating fans here who had suffered disappointing news over the weekend when Michelle Kwan withdrew.
"We didn't say any words of giving up," Zhang Dan said. "It's because we are at the Olympics."
Agony but With a Victory
Video of Zhang's fall, and of the pair's medal-winning performance, has been shown constantly on Chinese television. Chinese media praised the pair for their "incredible courage."
One Chinese newspaper said the pair did more than win a silver medal. They "won the respect" of the audience and "inspired Torino," the paper wrote.
Her determination may have come at a price. ABC News saw Zhang being wheeled out of Centro Traumatologico Ortopedico, a hospital in Turin, Italy.
Her condition is not known. Hospital staff surrounded her wheelchair to offer words of encouragement, pose for pictures, or ask for autographs.
She granted every request without speaking and without any expression on her face.