1. Russian athlete Anton Gafarov crashed hard during the finals of the men’s cross-country skiing sprint, severely damaging his left ski.
2. He pulled himself up and attempted to finish the race with his broken ski, even though he no longer had a chance of winning a medal in the event.
3. Moments later, within sight of the finish line, the broken equipment caused Gafarov to fall again. A layer of the ski’s P-Tex base stripped off and wrapped around the athlete’s foot, tripping him as he tried to stand and continue the race.
AP Photo/Matthias Schrader
4. As Gafarov struggled towards the finish line, Canadian cross-country coach Justin Wadsworth ran onto the track carrying a new ski.
5. Without exchanging a word, the coach knelt before the athlete, removed the broken ski and replaced it. “It was like watching an animal stuck in a trap. You can’t just sit there and do nothing about it,” Wadsworth later told The Star.
6. Gafarov finally finished the race to the cheers of the Russian crowd.
Carlos Barria / Reuters
7. “I wanted him to have dignity as he crossed the finish line,” said Wadsworth, himself a three-time Olympian.
AP Photo/Felipe Dana