Andrew Turner and Jackson Quinonez, hurdlers, London 2012
During a heat in the 110-meter hurdles, Chinese track athlete Liu Xiang injured his right leg and hobbled past the finish line. Britain’s Turner and Spain’s Quinonez came to aid Xiang, supporting the 2004 Olympic champion and former world-record holder to a wheelchair to be taken from the track.
Shuhei Nishida and Sueo Oe, pole vaulters, Berlin 1936
After Earle Meadows of the United States team won the gold medal in the pole vault, Japanese competitors Nishida and Oe competed in a jump-off for the silver medal. Although both vaulters finished with the same height, the silver was ultimately awarded to Nishida for having fewer misses than Oe. However, when the Olympians returned home, they did the unthinkable. Nishida and Oe broke their medals in half to create two new medals combined of half silver, half bronze. They were called the “medals of friendship.”
Derek Redmond, sprinter, Barcelona, 1992
Who wouldn’t remember Redmond’s courageous moment during his 400-meter semifinal? Near the end of the race, the British athlete suffered a torn hamstring and started hobbling in pain, but he was determined to finish. As Redmond struggled, his father came to his assistance, rushing down from the stands through fans and past security to aid his son. With Jim Redmond assisted him on the track, Derek completed the race, although he was later disqualified for receiving assistance. In 2012 London Games, Jim Redmond was a torchbearer.
Lawrence Lemieux, sailor, Seoul 1988
During the fifth race of Finn class sailing, a seven-race event, Singapore’s Joseph Chan and Siew Shaw were capsized by harsh winds, throwing them into the water. When Lemieux saw the stranded sailors, the Canadian veered from his course and sacrificed his second-place position to rescue them. He came back to the race but finished in 22nd place. Due to his actions, the yacht racing’s world governing body decided to give Lemieux the points from the race he would have earned for a second-place finish. As a result, Lemieux finished 11th overall in the event but was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal for sportsmanship.