D'Agostino receives Olympic sportsmanship award

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 8/22/16 10:45am

Abbey D’Agostino ’14 and Nikki Hamblin both received the Fair Play Award for sportsmanship by the International Fair Play Committee, supported by the International Olympic Committee, on Saturday.

Three thousand meters into the race, New Zealand runner Hamblin clipped D'Agostino in a semifinal round of the women’s 5,000-meter race last Tuesday. D’Agostino, who was injured in the fall, jumped to her feet and motivated Hamblin to get up and finish the race.

Shortly after, Hamblin paused to make sure D'Agostino, who was limping heavily, was alright before both finished the race in the final two spots.


The two embraced at the finish line. The Dartmouth alumna was taken from the stadium in a wheelchair after running the last mile on a torn ACL, sprained MCL and torn meniscus. Both runners were advanced to the finals because of the incident. D’Agostino was unable to compete and Hamblin finished in last place.

The award recognizes “true Olympic champions in sportsmanship” and “honors remarkable acts and significant careers of ‘Fair Play,'” according to the IOCstatement.

“The D’Agostino and Hamblin story is one of humanity and sacrifice which has already captured the hearts of people across the globe," the IOC said in the statement.

A jury of representatives from the IOC, CIFP, athletes and media members selects the recipients. Athletes, coaches and other members of the Olympic entourage are eligible.

The CIFP also recognized the Norwegian men’s handball team for sportsmanship in an Olympic qualifying match. The team elected not to contest a loss to the German team, who won with an extra player on the field in the final seconds and knocked the Norwegian team out of Olympic qualification. The Norwegian team felt that the additional player did not play a role in the final deciding point.

Prior to D'Agostino's reception of the award, a change.org petition,started by Timothy Boivin of Cary, Ill. last Wednesday, campaigned the U.S. Olympic Committee to name D'Agostino the team's flag bearer for the closing ceremony.Gymnast Simone Biles was the flag bearer for the U.S. team in yesterday's closing ceremony.

Correction appended (Aug. 24, 2016):

The original version of this article stated that the Fair Play Award was also known as the Pierre de Coubertin medal, which has only been awarded 17 times in Olympic history.The International Olympic Committee confirmed in an email to The Dartmouth that the two awards are distinct.