Kenyan athlete Simon Cheprot won the hearts of many people when he gave up on winning a race so that he could help his rival who was collpasing. His act has been hailed as a great sign of sportsmanship.
One would think that when an athlete is close to clinching the first position they will be impervious to anything around them, no matter the urgency. But this was not the situation with Simon Cheprot. During the Okpekpe International 10km Road Race in Nigeria, he was so close to winning the race, but then he noticed his rival and fellow countryman Kenneth Kipkemoi was not all right.
Upon seeing the predicament that his rival was in, he immediately sacrificed the race and turned to helping him. He lifted him up and then dragged him to the finish line. Afterwards, he then called the medical team for assistance.
He lost the race, but he won the hearts of people. His gesture was one of kindness actuated by a great sense of sportsmanship. His act indeed warmed the hearts of many people. The selflessness he showed is truly remarkable.
"Cheprot was men's title winner in 2016 and was first runner up in the 2018 edition, his ambition being to become first participant to scoop two titles since its inception in 2013.Simon may not have fulfilled his ambition of becoming the first athlete to win two Okpekpe titles since 2013 when we began this race but he came to Okpekpe this year, ran and left as the hero. He did not win any medals but he won hearts," said Mike Itemuagbor, the event promoter.
In recognition of his acts, he was awarded $10,000 by a local politician in the State of Edo.
When an athlete does something of this magnitude, it deserves to spread to all parts of the world really. He did a commendable thing that gave him a "golden heart," and not a gold medal.
Header image credit - Nairobi News