Nikki Hamblin, the runner from New Zealand, has made headlines after showing sportsmanship spirit at the semi-finals of the Women’s 5000-metre race.
She was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin award by the International Olympic Committee on Saturday, but her family is not at all surprised by her act of kindness. To them, she was just being herself.
The 2016 Rio Olympics was the athlete’s first Olympic, as she could not compete in the London Olympics due to an injury, which she sustained at the Delhi Commonwealth games where she won a double silver medal. Earlier this year, she qualified with a 4:05.03 in 1500 metres race at the Beijing World Challenge meeting. However, her New Zealand record stands at 4:04.82 which was set in 2011.
Hamblin is not originally from New Zealand, but gained citizenship in 2009, according to Olympic.org.nz. She hailed from Dorchester, England, and has been living in Cambridge and training with the Cambridge Athletic and Harrier Club, after moving to New Zealand in 2006.
During the Women’s 5000 metre race, Nikki Hamblin tripped and fell. America’s Abbey D’Agostino, who was right behind her tumbled over her and also fell. D’Agostino, helped Nikki Hamblin to her feet, despite hurting herself.
As the duo began to race again, D’Agostino fell again as she tried to put weight on her knee, the Guardian reported. But, Nikki Hamblin refused to leave her behind and helped her stand up. Both the runners completed the race, which triggered off an overwhelming emotional response from the audience.
Hamblin and D’Agostino were given an opportunity run in the finals, however, due to her injury D’Agostino could not compete.
“It’s a little bit overwhelming. Everyone’s got a good news story. There’s been a lot of doom and gloom around the Olympics,” Hamblin’s aunt Jane Scott was quoted as saying by Stuff.co.nz. “This is the feel-good story. Nikki was just being Nikki. That’s what she’s like. She puts other people first, so we’re very proud.”
According to Cambridge Athletic and Harrier club president George Chambers, it’s in Hamblin’s nature to help others and he was not at all surprised.
“She is a highly respected member of our club. She has a very genuine nature, which means that she’s not one who boasts. She doesn’t talk about herself a great deal,” he said.