When New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin stumbled and fell to the track while running and American Abbey D’Agostino also tripped over her and tumbled. Instead of racing to continue her pursuit, D’Agostino walked over to Hamblin and helped her off the track.
D’Agostino got up but saw Hamblin was in distress and paused to help her up. They tried to continue, but D’Agostino was in pain because of injuries to her leg. “She could hardly stand,” Hamblin said.
Hamblin then helped her up, but D’Agostino couldn’t resume running and told Hamblin to go continue without her. Hamblin finished 16th in 16:43.10, and D’Agostino limped to the line in 17:10.02. Following a protest, both runners were advanced to Friday’s final, as was a third runner who was affected by the collision, Jennifer Wenth of Austria.
D’Agostino was taken off the track for treatment, but Hamblin lingered and spoke to reporters afterward to praise D’Agostino’s kindness.
“I went down, and I was like, ‘What’s happening? Why am I on the ground?’ ” Hamblin said. “Then suddenly, there’s this hand on my shoulder [and D’Agostino saying], ‘Get up, get up, we have to finish this.’ And I’m like, ‘Yup, yup, you’re right. This is the Olympic Games. We have to finish this.’
“I’m so grateful for Abbey for doing that for me. That girl is the Olympic spirit right there. I’ve never met her before. I’ve never met this girl before, and isn’t that just so amazing? Regardless of the race and the result on the board, that’s a moment that you’re never, ever going to forget for the rest of your life, that girl shaking my shoulder like, ‘Come on, get up.’ ”