2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games – Russia.

The Olympics is a great time and opportunity to show off sportsmanship, and Canadian cross-country ski coach Justin Wadsworth took his responsibilities as a leader to the extreme during a semifinal heat.

Russian skier Anton Gafarov was expected to contend for a medal, but he struggled during his sprint and broke a ski in the semifinal. The Toronto Star’s Cathal Kelly described the scene: “He’d crashed on a quick downhill corner and broken a ski. Then he’d crashed again. A long, thin layer of P-Tex had been skinned off his ski. It was now wrapped around his foot like a snare”.

Gafarov was not ‘skiing’ to the finish. He was dragging himself.  It was going to be a tough task, but Gafarov wanted to finish the heat in front of the home crowd despite being well out of contention. The Canadian coach Wadsworth displayed a great act of sportsmanship and gave Gafarov a spare ski so he could finish the race. None of Gafarov’s coaches helped him, but Wadsworth felt it was the right thing to do.

“It was like watching an animal stuck in a trap,” Wadsworth said. “You can’t just sit there and do nothing about it. I wanted him to have dignity as he crossed the finish line.”

Although he was not competing in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Wadsworth may have provided us with the best moment.


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