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03rd Aug 2021

Two best friends decide to share Olympic gold medal

Sarah McKenna Barry

“Sharing with a friend is even more beautiful.”

In an incredibly touching sports moment, Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi made the decision to share the gold medal during the men’s high jump at the Tokyo Olympics.

The final of the event ended in a tie. As the bar was raised to 2.39 meters, both athletes failed to jump over it three times in a row. Officials then presented the athletes with the option of deciding a winner through a jump-off, or they could share first place.

Barshim asked, “Can we have two golds?”

When the official confirmed that they can, Tamberi jumped into his competitor’s arms, and the pair looked overjoyed to share the win.

The men shared the podium and presented each other with their gold medals.

The Italian high jumper said: “I still can’t believe it happened. Sharing with a friend is even more beautiful. It was just magical.”

Barshim spoke about how they both deserved the gold medal.

He said: “For me, coming here, I know for a fact that for a performance I did, I deserve that gold. He did the same thing, so I know he deserved that gold.”

The athlete also spoke about their close bond.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Barshim said. “Not only on the track, but outside of the track. We’re always together almost. True spirit, sportsmen spirit, coming here and delivering this message.

“Appreciate what he’s done, he appreciates what I’ve done. This is amazing.”

He added: “This is beyond sport, this is the message we deliver to the young generation.”

Viewers took to Twitter to applaud the sportsmanship of the high jumpers.

One wrote: “I really didn’t think the men’s high jump final would be so emotional. What a beautiful moment when two golds were awarded.”

Another viewer tweeted: “I guess we can definitely and already state that the quote of the Games is ‘Can we have two golds?'”