Most athletes dream of one day making it to the Olympics. The handful of talented men and women who do eventually get a chance to compete in the big Games, dream of taking home a gold, silver, or bronze medal. For many professional athletes, winning a medal is one of, if not the biggest accomplishment in their career, which is why many dedicate their lives towards training for that special moment.
However, believe it or not, the world’s most competitive sports competition isn’t just about winning or losing. While at times it can certainly seem like that, there is a lot more to sports than winning. On August 16, 2016, the world was reminded of that very fact, when two extraordinary female track athletes competing in the Rio Summer Olympics gave up their chances at winning an Olympic medal, in order to help each other make it to the finish line after a horrible and painful on-track collision.
After Abbey D’Agostino from the U.S. team and Nikki Hamblin from the New Zealand team collided and fell to the track during the women’s 5,000-meter semifinal at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, the crowd went silent. Abbey got up right away, but instead of catching up with the rest of the runners, she immediately went to Nikki, and helped her get back on her feet. Abbey was so busy worrying about Nikki that she didn’t realize that she had suffered a horrible injury, and fell to the ground seconds later in extreme pain. At that moment, Nikki lifted Abbey off the ground and stayed by her side until they both finished the raced together.
The entire crowd in the Olympian stadium rose to their feet and cheered as the two athletes emotionally embraced one another. The incredible moment of sportsmanship between the two runners made a huge impact throughout the world, and became known as the “Most Beautiful Moment of Rio 2016.” Although neither Abbey or Nikki won a medal, they were both considered the real winners of the Games for embodying the true spirit of the Olympics.
It has been a year and a half since Abbey and Nikki shook the world with their good-hearted act of sportsmanship. The Olympians are now focusing on their lives post-Olympics, including recovery, training, new careers, a wedding proposal…and more.
Continue reading to catch up with the extraordinary girls from one of the Olympics’ most touching moments of all time.