NZ, US Runners Win Fair Play Awards

D'Agostino, Hamblin helped each other finish race
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2016 12:07 AM CDT
NZ, US Runners Win Fair Play Awards
New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D'Agostino from the US, left, are seen after competing in the 5,000-meter heat.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

One of the most touching moments of the Rio Olympics has been rewarded with this year's Fair Play Awards. American runner Abbey D'Agostino and New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin, who helped each other finish the race after falling during a women's 5,000-meter heat, were given the awards Saturday night for what the IOC describes as "two separate acts of selflessness and exemplary sportsmanship." D'Agostino, who was accidentally brought down by Hamblin, helped the New Zealand runner to her feet. Hamblin then stayed with her fellow runner when she realized D'Agostino had injured her leg in the fall.

"Winning this award is overwhelming," says Hamblin, per the Sydney Morning Herald. "I am proud [at] what we did and truly believe that you can be both a competitor and kind and responsive at the same time," she says. "Everyone comes here to compete, but there are a lot of people who don't achieve that, and the journey is really important, too." The IOC decided to allow both women to compete in the final, though D'Agostino was too injured to take part, the Guardian reports. (More 2016 Olympics stories.)

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