Quick note: Before we get to three happy, uplifting stories, many of you may know, from reading this blog over the years, that I spent several years of my sportswriting career covering Ryan Lochte for his hometown paper, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, and interviewed him and his family dozens of times. (His mom is a total sweetheart and I hate that she’s been dragged into this).
It’d be way, way too easy to pile on Ryan right now after his idiotic last few days in Rio, but I’m also not going to defend him. I’d rather wait a bit and see if he shows any contrition. In the meantime, Sally Jenkins wrote a fantastic column about the mess here.
All righty then, let’s get to some positive stories. First, I’m sure you heard about this one earlier this week at the Rio Olympics. During the women’s 5,000 meter track and field finals, New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin and Team USA’s Abbey D’Agostino collided and both fell to the track.
Instead of keeping on running as maybe 99 percent of other runners might’ve done (and hey, it’s the Olympics, who could’ve blamed them?), D’Agostino helped Hamblin up, telling her “Get up, get up, we have to finish this.”
D’Agostino was injured during the collision, and could barely run as they continued. Hamblin did not go off and chase the pack, though; she stayed with D’Agostino and the two hobbled to the finish line together. D’Agostino would leave in a wheelchair, and is too injured to compete in the 5,000 meter final tonight (Hamblin is scheduled to race).
Hamblin was overcome by D’Agostino’s gesture; it really was beautiful
“That girl is the Olympic spirit right there,” Hamblin said … “I’ve never met this girl before, and isn’t that just so amazing, such an amazing woman,” Hamblin said.
“Regardless of the race and the result on the board, that’s a moment that you’re never ever going to forget for the rest of your life, that girl shaking my shoulder, like ‘Come on, get up’.”
Tremendous stuff. So great to see. Here’s footage of how it happened.
**Next up today, swimmer Missy Franklin was a huge star of the 2012 Olympic Games, and figured to continue her ascent into Michael Phelps-land in the Rio Games. But Missy has had a rough last couple of years in the pool, and at this year’s Olympics she won “only” a relay gold and didn’t reach the finals in her individual events.
So returning home to Centennial, Colo., you could understand if she was a bit down. Then she saw all the love shown to her on her front lawn. What an awesome video; her reaction is so sweet.
**And finally today, it’s almost U.S. Open time, which of course has me giddy beyond belief. I sadly won’t get to see my man Roger Federer at the Open this year, because of injury. But Fed is starring in this brand-new Mercedes commercial and it’s hilarious. Basically, it’s a trip through 100 years of tennis and fashion through Federer’s, um, body.
Really, really love the mullet, Rog…