Isaiah Jewett and Nijel Amos displayed the true meaning of sportsman spirit by picking each other up in a moment that will go down in Olympics history.
The Tokyo Olympics has given us many heartwarming moments. The new practice of the winning athletes giving each other the medals - a sort of "DIY" medal ceremony, in line with the pandemic protocols - and the touching moment Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi and Mutaz Barshim of Qatar agreed to share a gold medal. The display of sportsman spirit has brought a much-needed cheer to the games that have been held during hard times. To add to the list is the heartening moment shared between Isaiah Jewett and Nijel Amos during the 800 meters race.
Nijel Amos and @Isaiahjewett fall with less than 200 meters remaining in the final heat of the men’s 800m semifinal. Looks like Jewett was clipped from behind.— Chris Chavez (@ChrisChavez) August 1, 2021
They got back up and jogged to the finish line together.#TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/jL8e2RRjyB
Jewett and Amos were in the final round of the race and in a good position to finish at first and second place. But at the final turn, the back of Jewett's heel appeared to hit Amos who was behind him. He went down and so did Amos. The two were sprawled on the track seemingly out of the race as others raced past them. Having missed their shot at coming in first, one would expect a flare in emotions and temper. But what followed was the definition of sportsman spirit and brotherhood. Jewett and Amos helped each other onto their feet, put their arms around each other, and proceeded to finish the race. Together.
They were 54 seconds behind the winner and may have not won the race that day but they surely won everyone's heart. Jewett insisted that in this case, time didn’t matter and what they did was the right thing to do. “Regardless of how mad you are, you have to be a hero at the end of the day,” Jewett told the Associated Press about the mindset he learned from all the superhero animations he has watched. “Because that’s what heroes do, they show their humanity through who they are and show they’re good people.” Later in the night, Amos was reinstated into the final on appeal but Jewett remained out.
Isaiah Jewett wasn't about to hold a grudge after being tripped from behind by Nijel Amos of Botswana in the semifinals of the 800 meters at #Tokyo2020. The 24-year-old American instead helped his rival to his feet and they finished the race together. https://t.co/8NR9msYzTJ— The Associated Press (@AP) August 1, 2021
Recalling the moment, the 24-year-old runner from California said, “As he looked at me, he said, ‘I’m sorry.’ I said, ‘It’s OK, man.’” The official ruling stated that Jewett had inadvertently tripped himself. He added, “I am crazy about it, but that is 800. These things happen.” But his hero mindset may just help set a precedent and his gesture will go down in Olympics history. He has one simple rule when he’s racing and that is to finish. And he also made sure Amos finished the race too. "I always have to finish a race. I got Nigel (Amos) up as well. I could see that he was devastated," Jewett told NBC Los Angeles. "He apologized to me. I told him, 'Let's just finish the race man.'"
“I’m super blessed because not a lot of people got to be here. I have to live in that moment, not the moment that just happened,” Jewett said. “I’m able to go on to this stage and show you guys that this is me. That’s what I want to continue to do, to show who I am. If it wasn’t today, I’ll try again tomorrow. That’s not going to stop me from trying to be a hero.” He was pretty hurt after the fall and thinks he may have hurt his head. “It’s adrenaline right now that I’m standing and able to run around,” he noted. “I felt a little bit of spikes on my legs. I’m still living. I’m still walking. That’s all anybody can ask for.”
Amos appreciated Jewett's gesture and said, “You are all united by emotion. We felt all the emotion when we went down. When we stood up and just tried ... to get home. I thought I was in a good position to take this heat, and I can’t put words on it.” He will get one more chance to participate in his bid for gold.
I wrote this message on the wall at the dressings room after thinking my time here at the Olympics was over. God had other plans and he indeed prepared a seat for me at the final dinner .#lead by faith #tatamilawoloto pic.twitter.com/MoM0u4jgf6— Nijel Amos 🇧🇼 (@NijelAmos) August 1, 2021