If you’ve lost your faith in humanity, then this one’s for you.
For all of the heartbreaking, ugly, and sad moments that happen day-to-day, just remember, there are an equal amount of inspirational, beautiful, and joyful moments to balance them out. If you need your faith in humanity restored, aim to focus on the latter.
Compassionate moments in the sports-world are particularly moving due to the competitive nature we typically expect between the opponents. When rivals choose love and care, it surprises us, and reminds us that we are always faced with the option: love or hate. The choice is yours, what will you choose?
Here are our top picks for inspirational moments in sports. We recommend you grab a box of tissues for this one.
Gold-medal winner carries his injured rival off the mat.
During the 2015 European Games of Sambo, Stsiapan Papou, from Belarus and Amil Gasimov, from Azerbaigian rivaled up against each other.
Sambo is a little-known Russian-style martial arts and combat sport. During the match, Gasimov became gravely injured. Victory opponent, Papou didn’t even think twice to help his injured competitor. He lifted Gasimov onto his shoulders and walked him over to the on-site medical station.
This true example of sportsmanship won the hearts of the whole sport-world and teaches us that a world of respect and friendship between rivals outside the mat can (and should) indeed exist.
An athlete sacrificed her own Olympic dreams to help another runner
This incident gave the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics a reason to be remembered.
Nikki Hamblin demonstrated true Olympic spirit by helping her injured competitor Abbey D’Agostino. Hamblin had worked her whole life to reach this point of success in her sports career. When she saw her rival in need, she put the thought of medals behind her when her opponent was in pain. Both competitors were awarded the Fair Play award for showing true sportsmanship.
An athlete helped his brother to the finish-line.
During the World Triathalon Series in Mexico, two brothers brought the crowd to tears with their show of unconditional love. When Alistair Brownlee saw his brother Johnny about to faint from the hot and humid weather, he gave him his shoulder to lean on to ensure he would cross the finish line.
Even when victory, fame, and success are on the line, these two brothers reminded the world that family and love always come first.
Disabled child can’t hide his tears of joy
Big name soccer-star Danny Ings brought one of his biggest fans, Joseph Skinner, to tears of joy with his incredible act of kindness.
Skinner was in his wheelchair cheering from the sidelines. To his utter disbelief, Ings ran off the field to gift the child his boots and even gave the disabled fan a kiss on the forehead. Skinner was so overjoyed that he couldn’t hold back his tears.
Ings, a striker for Southampton, owns a truly golden heart. Most would assume that these big-name players would have their heads completely wrapped up in the game, but Ings showed the world that his heart is in the right place even during game-time.
True sportsmanship will win you the most honorable prize: respect
A life was saved during a Ukranian Premier league match, thanks to hero Jaba Kankava.
Oleg Gusev, the Dynamo Kiev captain, swallowed his tongue after a collision with another player. This incident could have easily, and very quickly, seen the player to his death right on the field. Kankava, from the opposing team, rushed over to him without wasting a moment and saved him from choking.
As an active sportsman, Kankava is aware that only a slight thread separates life from death, and made quick moves to ensure that even his opponents are safe. When someone’s life is at risk, the priority should be to treat him/her at first, no matter the stance or rivalry. Rivalry should never infringe on opportunities to show humanity.