Olympian Jack Woolley says he “could be worse” after a brutal attack left him requiring reconstructive surgery.
The Irish taekwondo athlete, 22, shared disturbing photographs of himself covered in blood after a group battered him “out of the blue” Saturday morning (14 August) in Dublin, Ireland.
A night out with friends in his hometown slipped into brutality when he was randomly targeted by thugs who began thrashing him.
He was rushed to St James’s Hospital and is now recovering from emergency surgery, Woolley explained in an Instagram story posted Monday (16 August).
“I’m all right,” Jack Woolley said in the video, The Mirror reported. “It would be a lot worse.
“Luckily I got off light compared to other people, but I’m doing as best I can.
“I was out having a few drinks with friends I hadn’t seen since I’ve got back from Tokyo, and I was walking down the street next to the [River] Liffey.
“I heard a noise and there was a few people on the street and by the time I turned back around to look where I was going, there was a few people on the road and one of them just turned and hit me, then apologised and said: ‘Oh sorry, I hit the wrong person.’
“A ring connected with my front teeth and bust my front lip open.”
Jack Woolley is ‘grateful’ that beating ‘didn’t get any worse’
The group of attackers, thought to be between eight and 12 men and women in their 20s, then tore through the crowds, bashing people with bottles and stabbing at least two people, authorities said. No arrests have been made by the Gardaí, Ireland’s police force, at the time of writing.
“I was the first one to be attacked,” Jack Woolley added, “and I was the last put in an ambulance, that’s how bad other people were injured.
“I’m just grateful that it didn’t get any worse.”
Woolley, who became the first Irish Olympic representative in taekwondo during the Tokyo games, has since been discharged and is recovering from his home.
But he doesn’t expect to be on the mend anytime soon due to the severity of his lacerations.
“The way it was cut was all the way through, there was a hole in my face and my top lip had completely come off so I needed to get stitches in the front and the back to get it back on,” he said.
“I’m just taking each day as it comes. It’s a bit tender.”
Woolley crashed out of this year’s Olympics after competing in the 58kg division. He was eliminated by Argentinian Lucas Guzman in his opening fight.