It’s moments like these that make you stop and go, “Yeah, this is what the Olympics is all about”.
When New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin tripped and fell during the 5,000m heats on Tuesday, she unintentionally took America’s Abbey D’Agostino with her.
D’Agostino was the first to recover, but even as the pack of runners pulled ahead, she stopped to check on her competitor.
“When I went down, I was like ‘Whats happening, why am I on the ground?’ And suddenly there’s this hand on my shoulder like ‘Get up, get up, we have to finish this.’,” Hamblin explained to reporters after the race.
“And I’m like, ‘Okay, yep, yep, you’re right, it’s the Olympic Games, we have to finish this.’
“I’m so grateful for Abbey for doing that for me. I mean, that girl is the Olympic spirit right there.”
As the pair continued along the track, however, it quickly became clear that D’Agostino was in pain, having twisted her knee as she fell.
She told Hamblin to go on without her and collapsed on the track, but both runners did eventually manage to finish the race and embraced at the end.
D’Agostino smiled as she was carried off in a wheelchair.
“I’m so impressed and inspiring that she did that. I’ve never met her before. Like, I’ve never met this girl before. And isn’t that just so amazing? That’s an amazing moment,” Hamblin said.
“Regardless of the race and the result on the board, that’s a moment that you’re never, ever going to forget. The rest of your life, it’s going to be that girl shaking my shoulder like ‘Come on, get up.'”