20 Aug 2016

After the fall: Praise for Hamblin and D'Agostino

3:02 pm on 20 August 2016

Rio 2016 Olympics - At the Olympics, the official Olympics account tweeted, it's not always about winning.

In the fourth lap of her 5000m heat, Hamblin tripped and fell along with US runner Abbey D'Agostino.

"Then suddenly this hand on my shoulder, like 'Get up, get up, we have to finish this' and I was like, 'Yup, yup, you're right. This is the Olympic Games. We have to finish this.'

"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."

The moment has been hailed as a piece of Olympic history.

The Los Angeles Times called Hamblin and D'Agostino the "real winners" of Rio.

The Independent said the athletes "embody [the] Olympic Spirit," even if one commenter thought the moment showed why the two would "never win any medals" (perhaps missing the fact the race was a heat).

NY Mag's headline for the story is a bit more overwrought: "Tripped-Up Olympic Runners Finish Race Together in Apparent Attempt to Make Me Weep Uncontrollably at My Desk", while The Telegraph went with the tried and true "Olympic spirit."

The moment even got some love from New Zealand's traditional rivals. "In an Olympic Games marred by accusations of doping and ill-will between nations," wrote the Sydney Morning Herald's Michael Gleeson and Daniel Cherny, "this was a moment to help restore faith in the ideals of sportsmanship".

Buzzfeed got in on the tears, saying "I am crying. A lot." The BBC played it a lot straighter, stating simply "Rio Olympics 2016: US and NZ runners help each other".

Whatever happens in Friday's final, the moment will be remembered more fondly than another famous women's track moment - the collision between Zola Budd and Mary Decker in 1984.