This morning, Olympic spectators were treated to the sort of heart-warming interaction that encapsulates why so many people enjoy watching sports, and especially international competitions. As the New York headline described it, “Tripped-Up Olympic Runners Finish Race Together in Apparent Attempt to Make Me Weep Uncontrollably at My Desk“. In case that doesn’t paint you enough of a picture, here’s what that looked like in the form of a moving one:
I’m not surprised that video has been retweeted nearly 2,500 times [as of the time of this writing]. It’s an instant classic, ready-made to take off in the age of social media. It’s the Derek Redmond moment of 2016, but with a sprinkling of forgiveness between competitors replacing the earlier incident’s element of familial support. It was a beautiful moment that deserved to go viral — and did.
Which is why I’m curious that an on-point tweet by one of the runners involved, Abbey D’Agostino (@abbey_dags), has received hardly any attention. The tweet in question almost uncannily foreshadows this morning’s events: Dags gives the play by play (exactly) two months to the day before she tragically crossed paths with Nikki Hamblin. When I first spotted it this afternoon — soon after the story gained traction on social media — it had exactly one retweet. I expected that number to rise quickly. But ten or so hours later, it’s all the way up to… three.
The linked Instagram post — which contains the exact same message by design — has received several hundred likes, but nothing out of line with what her images usually attract. Several of Abbey’s other recent posts have more. And it’s not like the tweet in question is buried on her Twitter timeline (which NBC linked to directly); although it was posted back in June, it’s still only the third down, after two retweets. The tweet is too perfect to stay unnoticed.
Get on it, internet.
Since there’s probably a reason people don’t generally ask for my opinion about what they should RT, I’ll leave you with two more quick questions to ponder about this incident (and ideally answer):
One, why are all the runners here all bunched together? It’s not like gymnasts all try to perform their floor routines at once, and most other races confine runners to their own, carefully-demarcated lanes. Seems like giving everyone a bit more space would help avoid incidents like this, and it’s not like we haven’t invented stopwatches.
Two, why did New York magazine decide to headline its post with a picture of Hamblin helping D’Agostino up (see above) when — at the critical moment described in its headline, just after the collision — that’s literally the exact opposite of what transpired?