This year’s Rio Olympics has been more than just a sport event. It has been a big part of our lives. It was about sweet triumphs, genuine motions, endearing recommendations and heartfelt proposals. This Olympics gave us stories that are going to be remembered forever or at least till Tokyo 2020.
1. Nikki Hamblin helped Abbey D’Agostino finish the race
Abbey D’Agostino of the United States (R) is assisted by Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand after a collision during the Women’s 5000m Round 1.
This year, the athletes who captured the essence of the Olympic spirit in a single act of selfless kindness was Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agostino.
During their 5,000 m race, the two collided against each other and fell down. On a circumstance like this, the contestants usually get up and start racing again. But, this time it was different.
When D’Agostino noticed Hamblin lying uncomfortably on the ground, she paused and encouraged her rival to get up and start racing again.
When Hamblin finally got up, she noticed D’Agostino ambling painfully. Despite D’Agostino urging her to race, she refused to leave her side.
The 28-year-old athlete gave up on a chance of a medal to help the stricken runner.
They ambled along the track together and D’Agostino came in last. Hamblin passed the finish line only seconds ahead of her newfound friend.
Today, the IOC awarded the duo the prestigious Pierre de Coubertin medal–the fourth type of medal that is probably better than the other three kinds. Otherwise known as the International Fair Play Committee Award, the medal has only been awarded 17 times in Olympic history.
2. When love won
Volunteer Marjorie Enya (R) and rugby player Isadora Cerullo of Brazil kiss after proposing marriage after the Women’s Gold Medal Rugby Sevens match between Australia and New Zealand.
After the medal ceremony following the first women’s rugby sevens final in Olympic history ended, Marjorie Enya entered the pitch and asked Brazil player Isadora Cerullo to marry her.
Enya, a 28-year-old manager at the venue, grabbed a microphone and delivered an emotional speech before the couple embraced to applause.
“The Olympic Games can look like closure but for me it’s starting a new life with someone. I wanted to show people that love wins,” she said.
3. China’s He Zi & Qin Kai got engaged
Silver medallist China’s He Zi receives a marriage proposal from Olympic diver Qin Kai of China.
This year, love was in the air at Rio. After Chinese diver He Zi won silver for the women’s three metre springboard, her boyfriend and fellow diver Qin Xai decided to propose to her.
Qin got down on one knee while clasping a velvet box. She clasped her hand over her mouth when Qin opened the box and nodded to him, before he slipped the ring on her finger.
“We’ve been dating for six years, but I didn’t expect him to propose today,” He told the BBC.
4. The team without a country
Refugee Olympic Team’s Rose Nathike Lokonyen leads her delegation during the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Ten refugee athletes deservedly received the most enthusiastic cheers as they marched in during Opening Ceremonies under the Olympic flag as the Games’ first Refugee Olympic Team.
Forced to flee their homes because of civil war or persecution, these athletes just wanted to compete.
They represented 65 million people who have fled or been forcibly displaced during the largest refugee crisis since World War II.
“We are not animals,” said Yiech Pur Biel, 21, a runner from South Sudan who has been living in Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp for 11 years after his village was burned to the ground by rebels looking to kidnap boys and make them into child soldiers.
“We can do everything human beings can do. Even if I will not get the gold or silver, I will show the world that being a refugee, you can do something.”
5. Fiji celebrated its first gold with a national holiday
Fiji players and staff huddle as they win gold after the Men’s Rugby Sevens Gold medal final match between Fiji and Great Britain.
After participating in 14 Summer Olympics and 3 Winter Olympics, the country finally won a gold. The
rugby sevens players burst into song as they celebrated winning their country’s first-ever Olympic medal.
They were so happy that the Prime Minister declared a national holiday on August 22 to mark the momentous achievement.