The two were rivals, but now their legacy of teamwork will become legendary.
When Team USA's Abbey D'Agostino collided with New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin, both lost their shot at gold. D'Agostino appeared to hit Hamblin from behind and both fell to the track.
D'Agostino could have kept running. She could have ignored Hamblin on the ground like the Pharisees ignored the injured man in Luke 10. But instead, the Holy Spirit came upon the runner.
"The thing about that moment was everything happened so fast. And it's just, all I know is I got up and my first instinct was 'OK, turn around, we gotta finish this,'" D'Agostino, told the TODAY show. "I don't think that was me, I think that was literally the spirit of God in me, like, 'Let's go.'"
Within moments, it was Hamblin's turn to assist D'Agostino, who tore her ACL during the collision.
The duo have now been hailed as the "Real Winners of Rio."
"She did pretty much the opposite of what I told her," D'Agostino's coach Mark Coogan told USA TODAY Sports. "And I am so glad she did."
D'Agostino maintains it was Christ in her who took action.
"Although my actions were instinctual at that moment, the only way I can and have rationalized it is that God prepared my heart to respond that way," D'Agostino said. "This whole time here, He's made clear to me that my experience in Rio was going to be about more than my race performance—and as soon as Nikki got up I knew that was it."
Jessilyn Justice @jessilynjustice is the director of online news for Charisma.
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