After the fall, a display of Olympic spirit New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin greets United States' Abbey D'Agostino, left, as she is helped from the track after competing in a women's 5000-meter heat during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
After the fall, a display of Olympic spirit
Lexile

New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin was lying on the track. She was dazed after a heavy fall and with her hopes of an Olympic medal over. Suddenly, there was a hand on her shoulder and a voice in her ear.
 
"Get up. We have to finish this."
 
It was an American, Abbey D'Agostino, offering to help.
 
"I was like, "Yup, yup, you're right. This is the Olympics Games. We have to finish this,'" Hamblin said.
 
It was a scene to warm the hearts of fans during a qualifying heat of the women's 5,000 meters in Rio de Janeiro. Hamblin and D'Agostino had set aside their own hopes of making the final to look out for a fellow competitor.
 
It started when D'Agostino clipped Hamblin from behind. They both went sprawling with about 2,000 meters to go.
 
Hamblin fell heavily on her right shoulder. D'Agostino got up. But Hamblin was just lying there. She appeared to be crying. Instead of running in pursuit of the others, D'Agostino crouched down, put her hands under the New Zealander's shoulders to help her up, and softly urged her not to quit.
 
"That girl is the Olympic spirit right there," Hamblin said of D'Agostino. "I've never met her before. Like I never met this girl before. And isn't that just so amazing. Such an amazing woman."
 
As it turned out, D'Agostino probably needed more help. She soon realized she'd hurt her ankle badly in the fall.
 
Grimacing, she refused to give up, running nearly half the race with the injury. Hamblin did what she could, hanging back with D'Agostino for a little while to return the favor and offer encouragement.
 
"She helped me first. I tried to help her. She was pretty bad," Hamblin said. She eventually had to leave D'Agostino behind and was certain that the American would have to stop.
  
"I didn't even realize she was still running. When I turned around at the finish line and she's still running, I was like, wow," Hamblin said.
 
She waited for her new friend to cross the line - D'Agostino had been lapped - and they hugged.
 
This time, it was D'Agostino who was in tears.
 
As D'Agostino was about to be taken away in a wheelchair, she stretched out her right hand and the two runners gripped each other's forearms for a few moments.
 
Hamblin and D'Agostino had provided a memory that captured the Olympic spirit.
 
"I'm never going to forget that moment," Hamblin said. "When someone asks me what happened in Rio in 20 years' time, that's my story."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why were the girls sure they had lost?
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COMMENTS (15)
  • jacksons2014-
    8/24/2016 - 03:42 p.m.

    I saw that fall it looked pretty bad so I guess that it was to bad for her to run in the finals.

  • haylieb2-
    8/24/2016 - 03:45 p.m.

    that was amazing how when the girl fell agostino helped her get to the finish line that was olyimpic spirit

  • creightonk-
    8/24/2016 - 03:50 p.m.

    I don't watch the olimpics but I wish I could see that.

  • kadenw531-
    8/24/2016 - 03:51 p.m.

    The Olympics are cool.

  • wyattm163529-
    8/24/2016 - 03:53 p.m.

    they both did not lose they won since of good sportsmanship.

  • cadenb-
    8/24/2016 - 03:54 p.m.

    I wish the whole world could be like that because that is super nice that the girl helped the one who fell and gave up a medal to help a person who fell.

  • kaidenl-
    8/24/2016 - 03:56 p.m.

    This gives me such a warm feeling in my heart most Competitors in the Olympics are all about winning its nice to see people helping others even though there competing.

  • jackg1005-
    8/24/2016 - 06:28 p.m.

    That is amazing how they helped each other even if it meant loosing the race.

  • miked123457-
    8/25/2016 - 03:18 p.m.

    They won by there good sportsmanship.

  • lucasr-
    8/25/2016 - 03:19 p.m.

    I watched the swimming Olympics I thought the weirdest game was hand ball its just soccer with your hand.

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