On August 16, the second round of the 5000 m female is about to end. Athletes run, compact in the bunch. New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin stumbles, dragging down the US Abbey D’Agostino. If some riders like Mo Farah can afford to go down and still get the win, a fall often means the end of any hope of qualifying.
Instead of leaving d’Agostino, Hamblin help here up and the two women, one in tears and another injured knee, leave together. “I felt a hand on my back telling me,” Get up, get up! We must conclude, this is the Olympics, “says Hamblin.
The American made a few meters and fell, unable to continue. New Zealand’s attempts to raise.D’Agostino who told her not to wait and to finish the race.
The US will rise a second time, and will finish last in the 17 m 10 s 02, behind Nikki Hamblin, penultimate 16 m 43 s 61. Exhausted, Hamblin was “impressed and inspired” to see his fellow galley cross the finish line. They fall into the arms of each other, to the applause of the stadium.
Despite their recent places, both athletes were recovered, not for “high Olympic spirit,” but after a complaint from their respective countries who judged the fall as an unintentional incident.
D’Agostino will leave the track in a wheelchair after greeting one last time to whom they will be linked forever in the history of the Olympics. “I will never forget that moment,” said Nikki Hamblin after just regained consciousness.
Even if they earn nothing in the final, even if in twenty years we forget their names will be remembered gestures and attitude of these athletes. As we remember the 400 m runner who was slammed and ended the race in tears and worn by his father in 1992 (his name is Derek Redmond) and others, who showed humility, generosity and humanism at the most important moment of their sporting careers.