These Two Runners Were Awarded A Rare Olympic Sportsmanship Medal

New Zealander Nikki Hamblin and American Abbey D'Agostino were competing in the women's 5000 metre semifinal when a collision ended with them both on the ground.

Ian Walton / Getty Images

The runners tripped over each other midway through the race in an ugly collision. D'Agostino was first to her feet, but waited to help Hamblin up as well. It was only when the pair began to run again that D'Agostino realised she had injured her knee – a rupture of her anterior cruciate ligament.

D'Agostino ushered Hamblin on, telling the New Zealander to continue the race. However, Hamblin refused and the pair eventually finished the race together.

Ian Walton / Getty Images

In a statement today, the International Olympic Committee announced both D'Agostino and Hamblin would be awarded with the Pierre de Coubertin medal, an Olympic medal for sportsmanship that has only been awarded 17 times in Olympic history.

“The Olympic games are about more than the win, the medals, or the record-setting performances,” said the International Olympic Committee in a statement.

“At their core, the games are about the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. They are about fair play and human spirit.”

“The D’Agostino and Hamblin story is one of humanity and sacrifice which has already captured the hearts of people across the globe.”

Patrick Smith / Getty Images

The Norwegian handball team was also awarded the prestigious trophy for an incident earlier this year. The team was playing Germany to qualify for the Olympics, and lost when the German team scored a goal in the final minute of play. It was discovered that when the goal was scored an extra German player had been on the field, but Norway did not choose to contest the results as they felt the extra player did not help Germany score the final goal.

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