Getting to the Olympics is hard work. Most of the athletes spend years, if not decades, training and competing just to qualify. Performing takes not only nerves of steel, but a killer instinct. But in the Olympics, good sportsmanship is the most important quality you can have.
Two high jumpers proved that in this year’s 2020 Games (in 2021). After three jumps, Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi were tied. They each performed successful jumps of 7 feet, 8 inches, and were headed for one more tiebreaker jump in an already a memorable event.
But before any more jumps could be made, Barshim asked an Olympic official if it were possible to share the gold medal. Turns out like dogs playing basketball, there’s no rule that says that can’t happen. The official confirmed it was possible for them to each take the gold. Tamberi and exploded with joy, hugging Barshim in a since-viral celebration that reminded the world that some things are more important than winning.
It’s impossible to watch this clip without getting emotional yourself:
— Peacock (@peacockTV) August 1, 2021
“Talk about Olympic spirit! The Olympic spirit is to build a peaceful and better world in the Olympic sphere, which requires mutual understanding with the spirit of friendship, solidarity, and fair play,” a commentator says during the clip. “And we see this explained today so beautifully as they both get to share this gold medal moment.”
There are a ton of Olympic events. Not all of them are as attention-grabbing as gymnastics, swimming or basketball. Sometimes it takes a special moment for an event to catch the eye of the world. Usually that’s due to incredible feats of athleticism. Other times, the Olympic moments become sensations because of incredible feats of humanity, like when Derek Redmond’s father helped him complete his race. This year’s high jump competition had both.