RIO DE JANEIRO -- The Olympic spirit was on full display during the second heat in the women's 5,000 meter run Tuesday morning.
New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin tripped and fell to the track during the race, with American Abbey D'Agostino then tripping over Hamblin and falling to the ground as well. Hamblin lay there wondering what had happened when she felt D'Agostino's hand on her shoulder.
"Get up, get up! We have to finish!'' D'Agostino told her. "This is the Olympic Games. We have to finish this.'"
D'Agostino helped Hamblin up, and the two continued to run. Having injured her knee during the fall, D'Agostino was not running well and when Hamblin looked back to see if she could help, the American simply said, "Keep going, keep going.''
The two both finished last and next to last (Hamblin in 16:43 and D'Agostino in 17:10) and hugged afterward. Despite the poor finish, they both will advance to the final due to having been tripped. D'Agostino did not go through the mixed zone to speak with reporters due to her knee injury but Hamblin expressed nothing but eternal gratitude to the runner she had never met before.
"I am so grateful to Abbey for helping me,'' Hamblin said. "That girl was the Olympic spirit right there. I am so impressed and inspired by that.''