Nikki Hamblin helps Abbey D’Agostino up after the fall, photo by PhotoRun.net
Falls happen in distance racing in World Champs and Olympics. The fall in the 5000 meters, featuring Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agostino was not only unfortunate, but tragic. What has come out of it is a series of viral You Tube videos that reach into your heart, and ask you, what is the Olympic spirit? For both Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agostino, if they never would run another step, they have more Olympic spirit and humanity than anyone you could ever meet. At their young age, they understand what coaches talk about, what your parents talk about and by that eccentric Frenchman, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, wanted to bring back the Olympic sports movement. It is, as Nikki and Abbey have reminded us, much more than about running, jumping and throwing. It is about caring for your fellow persons on the planet.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2016
Knee injuries keep D’Agostino from Olympic 5,000m final
RIO DE JANEIRO — Team USA 5,000-meter runner Abbey D’Agostino (Topsfield, Massachusetts) has suffered season-ending knee injuries and will not compete in Friday’s Olympic final.
D’Agostino made headlines Tuesday when, after falling in a chain-reaction with New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin during their 5,000m qualifying round, she stopped to encourage Hamblin to get up and return to the race. After doing so, D’Agostino’s right knee gave out. Both women finished the race and were advanced to the final by track officials, although D’Agostino was clearly in pain.
D’Agostino was treated by Team USA medical. An MRI administered Tuesday revealed a complete tear of her right ACL, a meniscus tear, and a strained MCL.
“There was about 2k to go, I was still feeling controlled, and was mentally preparing to focus and maintain contact with the lead group for the final grind,” D’Agostino said Wednesday morning in a statement. “Then in a split second, there was a woman on the ground in front of me, I tripped on her, someone behind me tripped on me, and I was on the ground. Although my actions were instinctual at that moment, the only way I can and have rationalized it is that God prepared my heart to respond that way. This whole time here he’s made clear to me that my experience in Rio was going to be about more than my race performance — and as soon as Nikki got up I knew that was it. “
“By far the best part of my experience of the Olympics has been the community it creates, what the Games symbolizes. Since the night of the opening ceremonies, I have been so touched by this — people from all corners of globe, embracing their unique cultures, yet all uniting under one celebration of the human body, mind, and spirit. I just keep thinking about how that spirit of unity and peace is stronger than all the global strife we’re bombarded with and saddened by on a daily basis.”
Shelby Houlihan (Sioux City, Iowa) will represent Team USA after taking fourth in her qualifying race on Tuesday.
For complete reports on USATF at the 2016 Olympic Games, visit www.usatf.org.
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