Olympic friends reflect on fall
Kiwi runner Nikki Hamblin and American Abbey D’Agostino have stayed in touch four months since they won the sporting world’s hearts with their courage and humility at the Rio Olympics.
The pair were involved in a fall in their women’s 5000m heat and Hamblin encouraged a badly injured D’Agostino to get up and finish the race. To this day D’Agostino calls it ‘‘the epitome of athletic competition’’.
‘‘I just feel like I was an instrument - and so was Nikki - and I feel thankful that I was chosen to be a part of that,’’ D’Agostino told the New York Post for the newspaper’s review of the year’s sporting highlights.
‘‘It wasn’t me. That’s the only way I can interpret what happened. It makes me smile to realise that such a positive, simple act was recognised on that scale. I think people see that and they’re drawn to it because that’s what we as humans are meant to do, and whether people are conscious of that or not, it’s just so encouraging to me. That’s who we are: love and sacrifice.’’
The friendship of D’Agostino, 24, and Hamblin, 28, has blossomed since Rio as they continue to share their post-Games experiences with each other. ’’This moment got so much attention. You can’t plan for that to happen. And it’s still getting attention. People still talk about it, people still tweet about it,’’ Hamblin said.