The likes of Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt might boast impressive medal collections, but neither of them have ever been the recipient of the prestigious Pierre de Coubertin medal.
New Zealander Nikki Hamblin has, though, becoming just the 17th person to achieve the honour in Olympic history. Rather than reward athletic excellence, the award (also known as the International Fair Play Committee Award) is given to those who capture the essence of the Olympic spirit.
The Telegraph with more:
[Hamblin] stopped to assist Abbey D’Agostino after the American athlete who fell in agony after the pair tangled in their 5,000m race.
Hamblin’s admirable compassion for her fellow athlete drew plaudits from around the world as the 28-year-old athlete gave up on a chance of a medal to help the stricken runner.
D’Agostino urged to Hamblin to continue racing but the England-born [runner] refused to leave the American’s side until a wheelchair could be brought to take her away.
Here’s some footage of the incident – apologies for the song dubbed over the top, apparently someone thought that would add to the drama:
— TINIE AHMAD (@tinieahmad) August 18, 2016
Nikki is understandably pretty stoked with the honour:
“Winning this award is overwhelming,” said Hamblin.
“I am proud that what we did and truly believe that you can be both a competitor and kind and responsive at the same time.
“Everyone comes here to compete but there are a lot of people who don’t achieve that and the journey is really important too. That was one of those journeys and it has gone on to be one of the most important moments of my life.”
Congrats Nikki, in the age of twats like Ryan Lochte you’re the kind of athlete the world should be celebrating.
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