Canadian Coach Gives Ski to Stricken Russian
'You can't just sit there,' Justin Wadsworth says
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2014 11:57 PM CST
Russia's Anton Gafarov falls with a broken ski during his men's semifinal of the cross-country sprint at the 2014 Winter Olympics.   (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

(Newser) – A touching Olympic moment in Sochi: Canada's cross-country ski coach Justin Wadsworth came to the rescue yesterday as Russian Anton Gafarov tried to drag himself off the course with a broken ski. The coach, whose athletes had already been eliminated, hustled over with a spare ski so the Russian could cross the finish line with dignity. "It was like watching an animal stuck in a trap," the coach tells the Toronto Star. "You can’t just sit there and do nothing about it." Gafarov, who broke his ski when he crashed on a tight corner, got a huge cheer as he finished the race more than two minutes behind.

"Thanks to Wadsworth’s good deed, a racer who officially finished 12th will be the only thing many people remember about cross country skiing at the 2014 Olympics," writes Chris Chase at USA Today. Wadsworth, a three-time American Olympian, is married to Canadian skiier Beckie Scott, whose relay partner Sara Renner was lent a ski pole by a Norwegian coach at the 2006 Games, Yahoo notes. They won silver while Norway finished fourth. "This competition, and all competitions, it should be a fight. It should not be decided by skis," the Norwegian coach said afterward.

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
Feb 12, 2014 3:07 PM CST
'Brings back Eddie the Eagle in the Ski Jump when other teams gave him equipment, because as one of the last true amateurs to compete, he really needed it even to come in last.
Feb 12, 2014 10:28 AM CST
nice story! nuz no. slo nuz day again?
Feb 12, 2014 10:25 AM CST
Sportsmanship done right. Kudos, Canada!