A good example of kindness, being sporting and helping others:
27-year-old Russian Anton Gafarov was enduring a brutal competition on home snow, falling twice in the cross-country sprint semi-finals, and breaking one of his skis in the second of those accidents.
That left him a long, painful trudge back to the finish line on his ski boots – but Canadian team coach Justin Wadsworth happened to be nearby, and he ran out to give the stricken Russian one of the spare skis that he’d had in case of a similar mishap for one of the Canadian athletes.
It was a small thing, perhaps, and the time that Gafarov had already lost meant he had no chance of qualifying; but the act of kindness allowed the skier the dignity of at least finishing the race on home snow.
Wadsworth has been hailed on social media for his humanity and good sport – and rightly so. His act is a reminder to us all that the modern Olympic movement was born not from any ferociously competitive win-at-all-costs mentality, but out of of the Corinthian spirit of taking part, and enjoying sport for its own sake.
In that kindness, Wadsworth sparked memories of British 400m runner Derek Redmond, whose father famously helped him over the line at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona after the medal hope’s hamstring gave in during the semi-final.