After Taking a Tumble, These Olympic Runners Helped Each Other Finish the Race

After Taking a Tumble, These Olympic Runners Helped Each Other Finish the Race
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

With national pride hanging in the balance, Olympic athletes will do almost anything to make sure they bring home the gold. But when American runner Abbey D'Agostino had the chance to leave her competitor in the dust, she chose to help her instead.

During Tuesday's 5,000-meter final Hamblin and Abbey D'Agostino collided, sending them both to the ground. According to CNN, D'Agostino immediately tried to get Hamblin back to her feet, but a leg injury caused D'Agostino to fall herself. 

Now far from the rest of the pack, this time Hamblin helped D'Agostino up and encouraged her to finish the race.

"What's hit me? Why am I on the ground?" Hamblin told reporters she thought when the two collided. "Then suddenly there was this hand on my shoulder and she said: 'Get up, get up, we have to finish this!'"

"I was like: 'Yup, you're right," Hamblin continued. "This is the Olympics. We have to finish this.'"

Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D'Agostino
Source: 
Ian Walton/Getty Images
Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D'Agostino
Source: 
Ian Walton/Getty Images
Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D'Agostino
Source: 
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Abby D'Agostino and Nikki Hamblin
Source: 
Martin Meissner/AP

Both runners managed to finish the final laps of the race and, finishing less than a minute sooner than D'Agostino, Hamblin waited for her U.S. competitor on the other side of the finish line where the two embraced. D'Agostino was then taken off the track in a wheelchair. 

According to the Washington Post, Olympic officials agreed to allow D'Agostino and Hamblin to compete in the event finals on Friday after their respective countries filed a "protest" claiming that they shouldn't be penalized for the incident.

But no matter the outcome of Friday's race, Hamblin said D'Agostino's gesture of sportsmanship will be her best memory of the Olympics.

"I'm never going to forget that moment," Hamblin told the press, according to the Post. "When someone asks me what happened in Rio in 20 years' time, that's my story."

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Marie Solis

Marie is a staff writer with a focus in feminist issues. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

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