Two female Olympic contenders showed the world what sports is all about.
Shortly after the race started, Nikki Hamblin from New Zealand tripped on the ground, causing US athlete Abbey D'Agostino to collide with her, who also fell. D'Agostino quickly stood up, and gently patted her opponent on the shoulders and asked her to get up. Then both started running again, even though they knew that they had lost hopes of winning the gold.
Hamblin narrated the incidence in an interview with LetsRun.com:
"When I went down, I was like, 'What's happening, why am I on the ground?'" Hamblin said. "And suddenly there's this hand on my shoulder like, 'Get up, get up, we have to finish this.' 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."
On the track, Hamblin realized that D'Agostino was limping and was not able to run right, as she had sustained a serious injury on her knee. Then D'Agostino fell and Hamblin helped her get up. Hamblin moved on after trying to keep pace with D'Agostino who was limping. But, despite the injury D'Agostino did not quit the race.
"I finished and I had a lonely last four laps but she ran four and a half laps barely being able to run. I'm so impressed and inspired 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. Regardless of the race and the result on the board, that's a moment that you're never, ever going to forget."
D'Agostino, carried by a wheelchair, went to have an MRI to check for ligament damage after the race.
Both of them were allowed to participate in the 5000 meters final on Friday, but it is not certain if D'Agostino will be able to compete after the injury.
D'Agostino, who is a Christian, said that she felt God had prepared her for this moment.
"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," D'Agostino told NBC Sports.
"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."
"I know there's often criticism of athletes praying before a competition, or thanking God for their victory. I like to think this is why we should pray before a sporting event. Not that God will favor us with victory, but that we will be aware of His presence and have the Grace do what He would have us do," she said.