A Cross-Country Skier Fell. What Happened Will Restore Your Olympic Spirit

Winter Olympic events are extremely competitive, by nature. They can also be incredibly dangerous.


So when the world's top athletes compete for gold in such physically straining athletic events, it's always terrifying when someone takes a hard fall. At least, for the onlookers. You might imagine fellow competitors would see this as a blessing to knock out their competition, right?

Wrong.

Russian cross-country skier Anton Gafarov was competing in the men's spring free semifinals when he fell. Hard enough to throw him off track, and break one of his skis bad enough to render it unusable. As he tried to keep going, he fell again, and his ski was completely shattered. 

 

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That's when the unthinkable happened. Someone who was supposed to be an opponent came to the rescue and replaced his ski. None other than rival Canadian ski coach Justin Wadsworth. Justin ran out to the struggling Anton and strapped on a new, usable ski. Anton was able to finish the event.

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And even through it was technically against the rules to change out skis on the course is against the official Olympics rules.

"I wanted him to have dignity as he crossed the finish line," Justin told the CBC. "It's kind of like seeing an animal in a trap. I just couldn't lget him sit there."

And that, ladies and gentleman, is what the Olympics is all about. 

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