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Cross country skier breaks ski, still finishes race after opposing coach runs onto course to help him

Feb 11, 2014

Article reposted with permission from Business Insider.

This is everything that’s great about the Olympics.

In the finals of the men’s cross country skiing sprint, Russia’s Anton Gafarov crashed but still managed to finish the race thanks to Canadian coach Justin Wadsworth, who ran onto the course to help him.

Garafov finished nearly three minutes behind the leaders, but the Russian crowd gave him a standing ovation as he crossed the finish line.

Here’s how it went down.

Gafarov crashed hard halfway through the race:
23 Cross country skier breaks ski, still finishes race after opposing coach runs onto course to help him

His left ski was badly damaged:
31 Cross country skier breaks ski, still finishes race after opposing coach runs onto course to help him

He couldn’t take his weight off his broken ski, so he futilely tried to finish the race using only his poles
4 Cross country skier breaks ski, still finishes race after opposing coach runs onto course to help him

A few seconds later, he fell again:
5 Cross country skier breaks ski, still finishes race after opposing coach runs onto course to help him

This time he broke his ski in half:
6 Cross country skier breaks ski, still finishes race after opposing coach runs onto course to help him

It looked like he’d have to quit the race:
7 Cross country skier breaks ski, still finishes race after opposing coach runs onto course to help him

But then Canadian coach Justin Wadsworth ran out onto the course with a replacement ski:
8 Cross country skier breaks ski, still finishes race after opposing coach runs onto course to help him

He put it on for him:
9 Cross country skier breaks ski, still finishes race after opposing coach runs onto course to help him

Gafarov made it to the stretch run, and applauded the crowd:
10 Cross country skier breaks ski, still finishes race after opposing coach runs onto course to help him

The crowd went nuts as he crossed the finish line:
11 Cross country skier breaks ski, still finishes race after opposing coach runs onto course to help him

Wadsworth explained why he ran onto the course in an interview with the Toronto Star: “It was like watching an animal stuck in a trap. You can’t just sit there and do nothing about it. … I wanted him to have dignity as he crossed the finish line.”

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source: BI

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