Barshim And Tamberi, An Incredible Story Of Friendship And A Shared Olympic Gold Medal

Barshim And Tamberi, An Incredible Story Of Friendship And A Shared Olympic Gold Medal
Gold medalists Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy and Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar shared the podium after the men’s high jump at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium. Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

They say a real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. Same is the story of two friends; Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi and Mutaz Barshim of Qatar.

The duo helped each other reach the pinnacle of their sporting career despite injury setbacks.

In a competition just before 2016 Rio Olympic Games,Tamberi was in career best form, clearing 2.39m and attempting to join Barshim as a 2.40m-plus jumper going into the Games.

Unfortunately, he tore a ligament in his left ankle and ruled him out of competing at the Olympics. When he attempted to make a comeback in 2017 Diamond league meeting in Paris, it went badly. He was inconsolable, shutting himself in his hotel room and refusing to talk to anyone.

As a friend who stuck closer than a brother, Barshim provided pivotal support to see Tamberi return to competitive action.

Sadly, later that year it was Tamberi’s turn to offer his helping hand to Barshim who sustained the exact same injury and had to undergo surgery.

Undeterred, they supported each other through the dark days of 2018 until Barshim’s successful comeback to win the world title in Doha in 2019.

Following years of preparation, the duo came to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with one thing in mind – winning a gold medal.

In fact, Tamberi took the cast that stabilised his ankle after his surgery to Tokyo as a reminder of how far he had come since that devastating day

The high jumpers put in same performances to see off all other opposition until they had to play a tie breaker jump off.

When an official asked if they wanted to jump off for the title, they knew instantly what they would do.

Can we have two golds?Barshim asked the official, who then have an affirmative reply.

The high jump athletes – friends, rivals, brothers in the shared anguish of the same career-threatening injury – agreed to share the Olympic gold medal.

They had many times joked about sharing an Olympic gold medal in Tokyo.

Their friendship was forged through the worst times and now they have the unique chance to celebrate the best of times together.

Now, the high jumpers have created what can be described as one of the most remarkable moment in recent Olympic history.

Watch a video of them making a decision to share the Olympic gold medal below;

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