Runners earn well-deserved recognition for their sportsmanship.
Image via YouTube
Remember when those two runners collided during the women’s 5,000-meter semifinal and stopped to help each other recover? As it turns out, they’ll be awarded the ultimate Olympic sportsmanship prize. The International Olympic Committee announced Sunday that New Zealander Nikki Hamblin and American Abbey D’Agostino would both win the International Fair Play Committee Award for their inspiring display of integrity on the Olympic track.
The IOC said in a statement,
“The Olympic games are about more than the win, the medals, or the record-setting performances. At their core, the games are about the Olympic values of excellence, friendship, and respect. They are about fair play and human spirit. The D’Agostino and Hamblin story is one of humanity and sacrifice which has already captured the hearts of people across the globe.”
When Hamblin and D’Agnostino crashed into each other with 2,000 meters left in the race, the runners had little time to decide whether to take care of themselves or help each other out. In that split second, D’Agnostino decided to help Hamblin get back on her feet even though it meant forfeiting her chance to place. Although Hamblin was badly injured, the New Zealander encouraged her American rival to continue with the race.
According to the IOC, Hamblin was honored to receive the Fair Play award and humbled by the experience. “I think it’s very special for both Abbey and myself,” said the 28-year-old, “I don’t think either of us woke up and thought that that was going to be our day, or our race, or our Olympic Games. Both of us are strong competitors and we wanted to go out there and do our best on the track.”