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The Most Heartwarming Moments of the Olympics 2016 So Far

News New York Today

The Olympics might be the oldest, biggest athletic sporting event in the world, but they are as much about love and solidarity as they are about competition and winning medals. Keeping the spirit of the Olympics alive, here’s a rundown of the most heartwarming events to have occurred at the Rio 2016 Olympics yet.  

Runners Helping Each Other After a Fall

During the women’s 5,000 meter race, American runner Abbey D’Agostino clipped New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin from behind, resulting in a fall for both of them. While D’Agostino got up, Hamblin, who fell on her right shoulder, was still on the ground and appeared to be crying.

Instead of running on ahead to try and win a medal, D’Agostino bent down and helped her rival stand up, saying “Get up. We have to finish this.”

But once they were both on their feet again, it was evident that it D’Agostino had hurt her ankle. This time, Hamblin returned the favor, offering the American support and encouragement, but when she realized that D’Agostino would have to stop, she ran on ahead. But that didn’t stop D’Agostino, who ran to the finish line, where she had to to be taken away in a wheelchair.

“That girl is the Olympic spirit right there,” said Hamblin, according to The New York Times. “I’ve never met her before. Like I never met this girl before. And isn’t that just so amazing. Such an amazing woman.”

Read More: Why This Chinese Olympic Swimmer’s Response to Her Period Is So Inspiring

Twins Finish Marathon Hand in Hand

German twins Anna and Lisa Hahner spontaneously decided to join hands as they crossed the finish line during the women’s marathon. They placed 81st and 82nd in the marathon. While they faced backlash for deciding to hold hands instead of putting their heart and soul into the race, Anna said that they did their best, and “it was a magical moment” that they could finish the race together, proving once again that the Olympics are about so much more than competition.

North Korean twins Kim Hye-song and Kim hye-gyong also finished side by side at 10th and 11th positions in identical times.

North and South Korean Gymnasts Take Selfie

Representing two countries that have been at war for more than 60 years, South Korean gymnast Lee Eun-ju and North Korean gymnast Hong Un-jong put all differences aside at the Olympics. Watching the events of the day, they eventually crossed paths, exchanged greetings, and took a selfie.

In the past, athletes from these countries have given each other the cold shoulder, so the gymnasts’ selfie speaks volumes about the atmosphere at the Olympics this year.

Read More: North and South Korean Gymnasts Take Selfie, Justify Whole Point of Olympics

The First Marriage Proposal of the 2016 Olympics

Brazil women’s rugby player Isadora Cerullo’s girlfriend of two years. Marjorie Enya proposed to her after the Brazilian rugby sevens team team got eliminated from the running. It was the first proposal at the Rio Olympics, and is also a positive step for the LGBTQ community. Such an event occurring even at the 2012 Olympics is hard to imagine. Since then, many countries have become more accepting of gay couples.

The couple is now engaged. “She is the love of my life,” Enya told the BBC. “The Olympic Games can look like closure but for me it’s starting a new life with someone.

Read More: Brazil Women's Rugby Player Accepts First Marriage Proposal of Olympics

Chinese Diver Gets Proposed to After Winning Silver Medal

Moments after Chinese diver He Zi received her silver medal in the 3-meter springboard event, her boyfriend of six years and fellow Olympic diver Qin Kai went down on one knee by the podium with an engagement ring and a red rose encased in glass.

"He (Qin) said a lot of things there at the podium. He made a lot of promises, but the thing that has touched me the most is that I think this is the guy I can trust for the rest of my life," said Zi, according to CNN.

Simone Manuel Wins Olympic Gold in Swimming Event

Simone Manuel became the first black female swimmer to ever win an Olympic Gold after finishing the women’s 100 meter freestyle final in record time. She also broke the cliche surrounding black Americans and swimming, setting an example for the next generation.

"This medal is not just for me, it's for some of the African-Americans who have been before me and been inspirations," she said, according to the BBC.

But she also doesn’t want to be known as the “black swimmer” who won. "I would like there to be a day where there are more of us and it's not 'Simone, the black swimmer,'' she said.


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