Abbey D'Agostino speaks out, ACL tear will keep her from 5,000 meter final

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A knee injury has officially brought Abbey D’Agostino’s Olympic competition to an end, but the American runner says fate will allow her memorable collision with New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin to live on.

USA Track and Field announced on Wednesday morning that D’Agostino suffered a “complete tear of her right ACL, a meniscus tear and a strained MCL.” As a result of the injury, D’Agostino will not be able to compete in Friday’s 5,000 meter final at the Summer Games in Rio.

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D’Agostino and Hamblin authored one of the most touching moments of the Games on Tuesday after getting tangled up midway through the race. Both runners fell and helped each other up as they struggled. D’Agostino then hobbled around the track to finish the race despite her severe knee injury.

Hamblin said D’Agostino was the “true Olympic spirit” after the race. We didn’t get D’Agostino’s side of the story, however, as she was whisked away for medical attention.

She told her side of the story through Wednesday’s press release from the USATF.

“There was about 2k to go, I was still feeling controlled, and was mentally preparing to focus and maintain contact with the lead group for the final grind,” D’Agostino said. “Then in a split second, there was a woman on the ground in front of me, I tripped on her, someone behind me tripped on me, and I was on the ground. Although my actions were instinctual at that moment, the only way I can and have rationalized it is that God prepared my heart to respond that way. This whole time here he’s made clear to me that my experience in Rio was going to be about more than my race performance — and as soon as Nikki got up I knew that was it. “

“By far the best part of my experience of the Olympics has been the community it creates, what the Games symbolizes. Since the night of the opening ceremonies, I have been so touched by this — people from all corners of globe, embracing their unique cultures, yet all uniting under one celebration of the human body, mind, and spirit. I just keep thinking about how that spirit of unity and peace is stronger than all the global strife we’re bombarded with and saddened by on a daily basis.”

Both women successfully appealed the collision and were given spots in Friday’s final. Though D’Agostino will be unable to compete, it’s clear she keeps winning on many other levels.