Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 17 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Hildegard of Bingen
home iconInspiring Stories
line break icon

This Olympic event captures the true meaning of the Games

Gianmarco Tamberi AND Mutaz Essa Barshim

INA FASSBENDER | AFP

Cerith Gardiner - published on 08/02/21

The spirit of these two athletes is even more inspirational than their impressive sporting abilities.

Being an Olympian demands focus, determination, and a competitive spirit (along with all those athletic abilities!). Plus, representing your country is a lot of pressure. However, two athletes recently showed the world another quality that is definitely worth championing.

Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi were competing in the high jump on Sunday when they reached a stalemate. Both men had managed to jump over a staggering 2.37 meters with no faults along the way. However, after three attempts neither managed the next level of 2.39 meters.

An Olympic official suggested a jump off between the two friends and rivals to determine who would win the coveted gold medal. But Barshim had another plan to reward their efforts.

“I look at him [Tamberi], he looks at me, and we know it. We just look at each other and we know, that is it, it is done. There is no need,” he shared with the world’s media, as reported by USA Today.

Gianmarco Tamberi AND Mutaz Essa Barshim

“Can we have two golds?” he asked the official.

The official agreed and the two men jumped for joy, grabbing each other in jubilation, and in friendship. This was the first time a gold medal had been shared since 1912.

“He is one of my best friends, not only on the track, but outside the track. We work together. This is a dream come true. It is the true spirit, the sportsman spirit, and we are here delivering this message,” shared Barshim, the joint gold medalist.

The decision to share the medal was particularly meaningful to Tamberi. The Italian had suffered an ankle injury that prevented him from competing in the Rio Olympics in 2016, and it nearly put an end to his career altogether. So this year he brought along his cast to this year’s Olympics with “Road to Tokyo 2021” to inspire him along the way.

For Barshim, the gold has topped off his already impressive medal collection, having received a bronze and a silver medal in 2012 and 2016 respectively.

Despite all the glory of receiving a gold medal for their countries, their achievement means so much more. These two individuals, endeavoring to do their very best for their countries, have provided a wonderful example to all those competing in sports. They’ve summed up exactly what it means to partake in a global event with a generous and compassionate spirit.

Tags:
Acts of KindnessOlympicsSports

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
communion
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
2
CELEBRITIES
Cerith Gardiner
Our favorite stories of celebrities who inspire us in daily life
3
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
4
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
5
As irmãs biológicas que se tornaram freiras no instituto Iesu Communio
Francisco Veneto
The 5 biological sisters who joined the religious life in just tw...
6
CROSS
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
7
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.