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
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New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin was lying on the track, dazed after a heavy fall and with her hopes of an Olympic medal over, when 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, as Hamblin and D'Agostino 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 and 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, and 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 . . . and isn't that just so amazing. Such an amazing woman."
 
As it turned out, D'Agostino probably needed more help, and 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.
 
In an Olympics that has seen a few unsavory incidents - the Egyptian judoka who refused to shake hands with his Israeli opponent, the booing of a French pole vaulter by the Brazilian crowd - Hamblin and D'Agostino 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?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (17)
  • hrico-dav
    8/24/2016 - 05:01 p.m.

    In response to "After the fall,a Display of Olympic Spirit,"I agree with being a good sport.One reason I agree with that because if you treat people the way you wanted to be treated things will work out.Another reason is because you always need to be kind to someone and D'Agostino really showed it.It says in the article that "New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin was lying on the track, dazed after a heavy fall and with her hopes of an Olympic medal over, when suddenly, there was a hand on her shoulder and a voice in her ear: "Get up. We have to finish this."A third reason is shows respect for one another. If D'Agostino didn't have didn't have sportsmanship,respect,and kindness Hamblin would been on the track sitting there.Even though no one said D'Agostino isn't a roll model she's a huge roll model to me.

  • hmckenzie-dav
    8/25/2016 - 04:14 p.m.

    In response to "After the fall, a display of Olympic spirit," I agree that helping others helps your self. One reason I agree is that this women, hurting was there for a women she didn't even know. Another reason is that she was made one of her best moments by helping others. It says in the article that 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. A third reason is D'Agostino didn't even notice she was hurt until she helped the other women who she didn't even know. Even though she didn't win the the race, I think she won in Hamblin and the crowds hearts.

  • lukeh-orv
    8/29/2016 - 11:38 a.m.

    Because they had fallen and the rest of the people were ahead of them. I think it was really nice of the American girl to help the other girl after they tripped over each other. I think that it was great that the American girl had enough spirit to finish the race even with a bad ankle.

  • hayleem-ric
    8/30/2016 - 10:52 a.m.

    The girls were sure they had lost because they fell and fell behind everyone, when staying with each other they fell behind because one was injured. This is why they were sure they had lost. the American girl to help the other girl after they tripped over each other. Hamblin fell heavily on her right shoulder but she refused to give up.

  • madelynf-ric
    8/30/2016 - 11:34 a.m.

    The girls knew they had lost when Hamblin was waiting wait for D'Agostino to cross the finish as they realized that she was being lapped. In the text it says "This time, it was D'Agostino that was in tears. As D'Agostino was about to be taken away in a wheelchair, she stretched out her right hand as the two runners gripped each other's for a few moments." D'Agostino was crying because she finished the finished the race together with a teammate and she got to make a friend.

  • cbrooke-dav
    8/31/2016 - 08:10 p.m.

    I can see why these girls had thought that they had lost every thing in the race fist of all runner Nikki Hamblin had just taken a huge fall and had hurt her right shoulder but she didn't give up and started the race again with D'Agostino right by her side. Sadly D'Agostino had hurt her ankle even more than she had thought but this time Nikki Hamblin was their to help her even though she eventoally to keep going with out her in the end they had both finish the race proud.

  • emmanuela-bur
    9/02/2016 - 10:19 a.m.

    It very nice that the American racer helped the other racer.

  • stevenk-bur
    9/02/2016 - 11:28 a.m.

    I feel like she did her best and work her heart.

  • sbains-wim
    9/16/2016 - 11:53 a.m.

    The girls were sure they lost the race because they still had 2,000 meters left to run as mentioned by the author " started when D'Agostino clipped Hamblin from behind and they both went sprawling with about 2,000 meters to go." The girls were falling behind in their race. The author also mentions the girls being lapped by other women in their race. But although they were falling behind and they didn't give up. Both of them showed the best sportsmanship I've probably seen. That's to new friendships.

  • hshel-wim
    9/16/2016 - 12:04 p.m.

    the girl were sure they had lost because they had fallen and D'Agostino hurt her ankle badly in the fall. tis story inspired me by show what it takes to be a champion in the Olympics.

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