Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Canadian coach helps Russian skier finish cross-country course in front of his hometown crowd (PHOTOS)

A Canadian coach came to the aid of a Russian cross-country skier by running out onto the course and replacing the competitor's broken ski with a new one during a heartwarming moment in Sochi.

Russian cross-country skier Anton Gafarov finally completed the men's semifinal despite multiple crashes and a shredded ski after Canadian ski coach Justin Wadsworth jumped onto the course to provide Gafarov with a replacement ski. 

This act of good sportsmanship allowed Gafarov to finish the race in front of his hometown crowd — in last place, but triumphant at the end. 

NBC announcers said the moment "epitomizes what we want the Olympic spirit to be."

And the touching moment has gone viral.

Wadsworth—a Canadian cross-country ski coach — sprinted over to help Gafarov when he spotted the Russian struggle toward the finish line with a mangled ski. 

The ski had snapped in earlier in the race, but Gafarov staggered on anyway, only to tumble down a hill and rip it to pieces. 

"It was like watching an animal stuck in a trap. You can’t just sit there and do nothing about it," Wadsworth, himself a three-time Olympian, told the Toronto Star

"I wanted him to have dignity as he crossed the finish line."

Wadsworth hopped into action even while a group of Russian coaches just looked at their hobbled skier. The Canadian said he knew he had to help. 

"Canada has just enjoyed the finest day in its Olympic history," boasted the newspaper.

Gafarov completed the race — which is typically decided by tenths of a second — three minutes behind the pack— thanks to a an unlikely helping hand.


No comments:

Post a Comment