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Have you seen the true Olympic spirit at Sochi?

Posted by on Feb. 14, 2014 at 10:16 PM
  • 4 Replies

I know this story is a few days old, but I wanted to share this great example of what the Olympics (and sportsmanship) are all about.

True Olympic spirit: Canadian coach helps Russian athlete with broken ski to finish

Published time: February 12, 2014 12:12 
Edited time: February 13, 2014 11:07
Canadian coach Justin Wadsworth fastens a ski to the foot of Russian athlete Anton Gafarov (RIA Novosti / Konstantin Chalabov)

Canadian coach Justin Wadsworth fastens a ski to the foot of Russian athlete Anton Gafarov (RIA Novosti / Konstantin Chalabov)

The true Olympic spirit has been displayed by Canadian cross-country ski coach Justin Wadsworth, who helped Russian athlete Anton Gafarov with his broken ski during the Men's Sprint Free Semifinals at the Sochi Games.

Gafarov’s start wasn’t smooth. He fell three times, crashing early in the race and breaking his ski. It was clear that Gafarov was out of the race for the men’s finals and wouldn’t be able to compete for medals.

Still, he wanted to finish in front of the home crowd, but his left ski was too badly damaged in the crash and its base had come off.

The Russian skier faced finishing the race by walking to the line, not skiing.

However, the Russian’s fall was seen by Canadian coach Justin Wadsworth, who immediately ran on to the course and helped Gafarov.

"I went over and gave him one of Alex's [Harvey, a member of the Canadian team who didn't qualify for the sprint final] spare skis. It was about giving Gafarov some dignity so he didn't have to walk to the finish area," Wadsworth said in an interview to the Globe and Mail from Canada.

The Canadian coach didn’t just give a ski to the Russian, he even fastened it himself to Gafarov’s foot.

“We help because we know everyone works so hard in our sport,” says Wadsworth, who was an Olympic skier for the US before becoming a coach.

“Everyone wants fair results,” believes the coach, adding that his help “was a matter of allowing [Gafarov] to finish the race.”

Read the rest of the story here.

What do you think of the Canadian coach's actions in this situation? Where else have you seen the Olympic ideals of friendship, solidarity, and fair play displayed during the coverage of these Winter Games so far?

by on Feb. 14, 2014 at 10:16 PM
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Replies (1-4):
KairisMama
by Member on Feb. 14, 2014 at 10:17 PM
1 mom liked this

 Now that's TRUE SPORTSMANSHIP.

momofsixangels
by Gold Member on Feb. 14, 2014 at 10:18 PM

Thats awesome

SarahSuzyQ
by Bronze Member on Feb. 14, 2014 at 10:19 PM

I just love this story. Watching the Olympics with my son has helped me look for and appreciate these moments even more, and I just think his immediate reaction to jump in and help this athlete from another team was so admirable.

Quoting KairisMama:

 Now that's TRUE SPORTSMANSHIP.


MamaMandee
by on Feb. 14, 2014 at 11:49 PM
Yes I did and I thought it was super awesome!!
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