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Two athletes have provided one of the most inspirational moments of the Rio Olympics so far when they tripped over each other in the women’s 5,000 metres - then helped one another to carry on.

American Abbey D'Agostino and Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand were 3,000m into the race today when D'Agostino appeared to clip Hamblin’s heel, sending both tumbling to the ground.

But instead of appearing frustrated that their dreams of glory were apparently over, both women put on a display of the Olympic spirit that will live on long after the Games are over.

D'Agostino, 24, immediately got up to help her rival - then, as it became clear that she had a right ankle injury, Hamblin tried to help her continue.

Both athletes attempted to start chasing after the pack that had left them. But D'Agostino could not keep going as her knee had apparently twisted awkwardly in the fall.

She told Hamblin to go on as she collapsed on to all fours on the track. But the camera then came back to D'Agostino and she was back on her feet and running again.

Hamblin said: ‘When I went down, I was like “Whats happening, why am I on the ground?” And suddenly there’s this hand on my shoulder like “Get up, get up, we have to finish this.”

‘I’m so grateful for Abbey for doing that for me. I mean, that girl is the Olympic spirit right there.

‘I’m so impressed and inspiring that she did that. I’ve never met her before. Like, I’ve never met this girl before. And isn’t that just so amazing?’

Both Hamblin and D'Agostino were subsequently promoted to the 5000m final on Friday. [x]

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(x, x, x)

If you don’t want to read all of Hockey USA’s statement, these are the three most explosive parts which really show that USA Hockey is not sympathetic to the players situation: 

“USA Hockey trains and selects teams for international competition. USA Hockey’s role is not to employ athletes and we will not do so.”

“The support USA Hockey is implementing […] could result in each player receiving $85,000 in cash over the Olympic training and performance period.” (which is a very misleading statement that’s addressed in Monique Lamoureux’s response to the statement)

“USA Hockey…will field a competitive team for the upcoming 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship.”

The best thing about WNT boycotting

They aren’t just doing it for them.

Like, yes, they will be super stoked to finally get paid to do what they love, and that’s awesome. But they aren’t only asking for compensation for themselves.

They’re asking for youth and development team funding, they’re asking for advertising, they’re asking to grow the game.

They posted about it on social media so they can get attention, and what a lot of people in America love right now is women protesting for equality. But also, all this attention to Women’s Hockey, will probably work to increase revenue to Women’s Hockey. Campaigning for youth and development teams, campaigning for advertisement, will probably work to increase revenue to Women’s Hockey.

Listen, I don’t know what the real endgame is here besides getting pay for WNT, but I’m here for it.

USA Hockey is do or die

Just how badly are the U.S. women’s hockey players treated? USA Hockey pays members of the team just $1,000 per month for the six months prior to the Olympic Games.
 
That’s a salary of $6,000. For four years.
 
That’s the case even as these players must stay in shape and compete in other events, including the annual world championships, until the arrival of the next Olympic Games.
 
USOC funding can reach an extra $2,000 per month for top players, but many members of the team make as little as $750 per month. The USOC also pays a one-time bonus to all athletes winning medals at the Olympics, with the most going to gold medalists. In Sochi, the U.S. women could have made $25,000 each if they won gold. Instead they won silver, good for $15,000.
 
What this means is that quite a few of the players you watched come so close to winning the gold medal against Canada in 2014 rely on their parents to help make ends meet. Meanwhile, USA Hockey is spending most of its $4 million developmental budget on boys in their late teens.