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  ‘RIO’joice in kindness

‘RIO’joice in kindness

Published : Aug 24, 2016, 10:59 pm IST
Updated : Aug 24, 2016, 10:59 pm IST

Sportsmanship is more than just winning medals, and many stars have shown it onfield.

Abbey D’Agostino from American helping Nikki Hamblin from New Zealand.
 Abbey D’Agostino from American helping Nikki Hamblin from New Zealand.

Sportsmanship is more than just winning medals, and many stars have shown it onfield.

The 2016 Rio Olympics have come to an end but we still can’t stop talking about it and swooning over the athletes who gave it their best. And amid all the buzz about medals won, green pools and crippling injuries, it’s easy to miss small acts of kindness and genuine sportsmanship — a crucial part of the event.

 

American runner Abbey D’Agostino and New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin were in the middle of a 5,000 meter heat when Nikki tripped and fell, taking Abbey down with her. While the former appeared to curl up in pain, Abbey quickly got up and helped Nikki to her feet, so both of them could finish the race! “That girl was the Olympic spirit right there. I’m so impressed and inspired by that – she chose to get me up and bring me back to the moment,” Nikki is reported to have said about Abbey after the event. There have been several other instances where athletes have stopped to help their rivals in competitive events. A number of people have praised Canada’s cross country coach – Gafarov for lending a helping hand to Russian skier, by giving him a new ski after he crashed in the semi- final of a men’s freestyle sprint. And during a previous Winter Olympic event, a Norwegian coach assisted a Canadian cross-country skier Sara Renner, when her pole broke mid relay!

 

Sports bring out the best in a person, according to Arjuna Award winner Rehan Poncha. “Only an athlete would know what it feels like to fall halfway through a race and not be able to complete it. So when one athlete happens to trip or sees another fall to the ground while competing, his sense of sportsmanship and humanity is always going to overpower the need to win. It was so inspiring to see this happen more than once at the Olympics and is only natural for an Olympian to feel this way, since his journey to reach the sports biggest event has made him the person he is — the same humanity that makes him want to help a fellow competitor rather than only focusing on personal gain. That is the very essence of the Olympic spirit, that inspires us all to watch the games and be a part of them as well,” says the ace swimmer.

 

So while many athletes are judged by how many gold medals they win, others are remembered by their acts of kindness to each other.