But instead of acting frustrated or lashing out at one another, both women put on a beautiful display of the Olympic spirit that will live on long after these Rio Games are over.
What sportsmanship from Abbey D'Agostino and New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin, helping each other after 5000m heats fall. pic.twitter.com/71dYWd8FBc
— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) August 16, 2016
The moment started when Hamblin fell while running in the middle of the pack. It caused her to unintentionally trip D’Agostino, who was running behind her.
Not realizing that she’d suffered a leg injury of her own, D’Agostino went to Hamblin’s aid and made sure she was OK. When the two rose to their feet, D’Agostino’s leg buckled and she twice fell to the track.
Returning the earlier favor, Hamblin stayed behind to make sure D’Agostino could stay on her feet.
It wasn’t until D’Agostino showed a bit of stability that Hamblin rejoined the race while the American runner made a determined effort to finish on her own. D’Agostino hobbled her way through her remaining laps with a pained look on her face. When she finished, Hamblin was there to greet her with a hug. Despite finishing a full two minutes behind the heat’s winner and being carted off in a wheelchair, D’Agostino showed the same positive attitude that got her through the race.
“I’m so grateful for Abbey doing that (and making sure that I was OK),” Hamblin told reporters after the race. “That girl is the Olympic spirit right there.”
The USATF later tweeted good news for D’Agostino. Finishing the race allowed D’Agostino to protest that she was tripped and the American runner will advance to the 5,000m final on Friday if she’s healthy enough to compete. Hamblin also protested the race and advanced to the final.
Regardless of what happens, both women won a lot of fans with their actions.