During the Olympics, a lot of attention is paid to medal counts and world records. While those achievements are certainly worthy of celebration, an athlete doesn't have to finish in first place to be a champion. For evidence of that, one need look no further than what happened during the women's 5,000 meter run on Tuesday.
When New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin tripped and fell, American Abbey D'Agostino went down with her. As Hamblin lay on the ground, D'Agostino stood up and, in an act of true sportsmanship, helped her competition get back on her feet.
According to the New York Times, D'Agostino told Hamblin, "Get up. We have to finish this."
"I was like, 'Yup, yup, you're right. This is the Olympics Games. We have to finish this,'" Hamblin said after the race.
"That girl was the Olympic spirit right there," Hamblin said of D'Agostino.
D'Agostino injured herself in the fall, and she ended up on the ground again while trying to finish, but this time Hamblin was there for her. "She helped me first," Hamblin explained. "I tried to help her. She was pretty bad."
According to ESPN, the runners finished in the last two places (Hamblin in 16:43, D'Agostino in 17:10), but they will both advance to the final because of the collision. They carried their sportsmanship over the finish line, hugging each other when it was all over.
Hamblin says this was a moment she will treasure for life: "When someone asks me what happened in Rio in 20 years' time, that's my story ... That girl shaking my shoulder, (saying) 'come on, get up'."
(H/T: New York Times)