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7 Heartwarming Stories From This Year's Olympics That Won Our Hearts

Humanity>Gold.

22/08/2016 2:46 PM IST | Updated 22/08/2016 6:24 PM IST
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Sindhu showed her immense love for the sport and respect for her opponent.

Sometimes, winning a medal is not everything. The Rio Olympics was a witness to that. Heartwarming proposals and real sportsmanship-- This year saw several instances of human emotions triumphing the desire to win.

We may forget the names of some Olympians a few days later. But, here are seven stories that will be etched in our memories, for a very, very long time.

1. Nikki Hamblin helped Abbey D'Agostino finish the race

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Abbey D'Agostino of the United States (R) is assisted by Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand after a collision during the Women's 5000m Round 1.

This year, the athletes who captured the essence of the Olympic spirit in a single act of selfless kindness was Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D'Agostino.

During their 5,000 m race, the two collided against each other and fell down. On a circumstance like this, the contestants usually get up and start racing again. But, this time it was different.

When D'Agostino noticed Hamblin lying uncomfortably on the ground, she paused and encouraged her rival to get up and start racing again.

When Hamblin finally got up, she noticed D'Agostino ambling painfully. Despite D'Agostino urging her to race, she refused to leave her side.

The 28-year-old athlete gave up on a chance of a medal to help the stricken runner.

They ambled along the track together and D'Agostino came in last. Hamblin passed the finish line only seconds ahead of her newfound friend.

Today, the IOC awarded the duo the prestigious Pierre de Coubertin medal--the fourth type of medal that is probably better than the other three kinds. Otherwise known as the International Fair Play Committee Award, the medal has only been awarded 17 times in Olympic history.

2. When love won

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Volunteer Marjorie Enya (R) and rugby player Isadora Cerullo of Brazil kiss after proposing marriage after the Women's Gold Medal Rugby Sevens match between Australia and New Zealand.

After the medal ceremony following the first women's rugby sevens final in Olympic history ended, Marjorie Enya entered the pitch and asked Brazil player Isadora Cerullo to marry her.

Enya, a 28-year-old manager at the venue, grabbed a microphone and delivered an emotional speech before the couple embraced to applause.

"The Olympic Games can look like closure but for me it's starting a new life with someone. I wanted to show people that love wins," she said.

The couple left a lot of people wide-eyed and believe in love.

3. China's He Zi & Qin Kai got engaged

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Silver medallist China's He Zi receives a marriage proposal from Olympic diver Qin Kai of China.

This year, love was in the air at Rio. After Chinese diver He Zi won silver for the women's three metre springboard, her boyfriend and fellow diver Qin Xai decided to propose to her.

Qin got down on one knee while clasping a velvet box. She clasped her hand over her mouth when Qin opened the box and nodded to him, before he slipped the ring on her finger.

"We've been dating for six years, but I didn't expect him to propose today," He told the BBC.

4. The team without a country

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Refugee Olympic Team's Rose Nathike Lokonyen leads her delegation during the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Ten refugee athletes deservedly received the most enthusiastic cheers as they marched in during Opening Ceremonies under the Olympic flag as the Games' first Refugee Olympic Team.

Forced to flee their homes because of civil war or persecution, these athletes just wanted to compete.

They represented 65 million people who have fled or been forcibly displaced during the largest refugee crisis since World War II.

"We are not animals," said Yiech Pur Biel, 21, a runner from South Sudan who has been living in Kenya's Kakuma refugee camp for 11 years after his village was burned to the ground by rebels looking to kidnap boys and make them into child soldiers.

"We can do everything human beings can do. Even if I will not get the gold or silver, I will show the world that being a refugee, you can do something."

5. Fiji celebrated its first gold with a national holiday

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Fiji players and staff huddle as they win gold after the Men's Rugby Sevens Gold medal final match between Fiji and Great Britain.

After participating in 14 Summer Olympics and 3 Winter Olympics, the country finally won a gold. The
rugby sevens players burst into song as they celebrated winning their country's first-ever Olympic medal.

They were so happy that the Prime Minister declared a national holiday on August 22 to mark the momentous achievement.

6. The boy who grew up to beat his idol Michael Phelps in swimming

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Gold medalist Joseph Schooling of Singapore hugs silver medalist Michael Phelps of USA following the Men's 100m Butterfly final on day 7 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Singapore's gold medallist Joseph Schooling, who idolised Michael Phelps as a child, managed to get the better of his hero in pool.

Schooling won the 100m butterfly, beating Phelps, Chad Le Clos and Laszlo Cseh - who finished joint second.

A photograph of a young Schooling, then just 13, with Phelps at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 quickly went viral.

7. When PV Sindhu picked up Carolina Marin's racquet

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Carolina Marin of Spain celebrates match point against V. Sindhu Pusarla of India.

After a heartbreaking loss against world number 1 Carolina Mari, PV Sindhu became the first Indian woman athlete to win a silver at Olympics. She put up a valiant fight as thousands of Indians were glued to their TV screens.

But Sindhu will go down the history not just for her medal. It was also her gesture that made headlines.

Sindhu showed her immense love for the sport and respect for her opponent.

After losing the match, a dejected Sindhu took a few seconds to make it back on her feet and went on to congratulate her rival. She went and lifted the Spaniard onto her feet and embraced her.

Both the finalists hugged and Sindhu left the centre court to leave her opponent to cherish her Olympic moment.

On Sindhu's way back, she picked up Carolina's racquet which the elated gold-medallist had thrown in the air in excitement after she won the match point. Sindhu took the racquet that was lying on the court and placed it near Carolina's kit.

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