SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Two Olympic athletes representing Italy and Qatar are both celebrating their shared gold medal win in a heartwarming display of sportsmanship.
Mutaz Barshim of Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy tied in their men’s high jump final match at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and decided not to move on to a tiebreaker.
The two were recorded hugging it out when an Olympics official told them it was a tie. Barshim then asked, “can we have two golds?”
With a mutual agreement to share the title, champions Barshim and Tamberi literally jumped for joy, embracing each other again.
“Sharing with a friend is even more beautiful,” Tamberi said. “It was just magical.”
Tamberi was especially emotional as the win was another chance after his near career-wrecking injury that forced him to miss the 2016 games in Rio.
“This is an absolutely insane night in the stadium,” the announcer boomed as cheers rung out in Tokyo.
During a press conference after the high jump, the two athletes explained their thought process.
“You know once we finished with that 239 jump he looked at me I looked at him we just understood, there was no need to go,” Barshim said. “That’s it, it wasn’t even a question.”
“Probably I will never ever share a gold medal with anybody else than Mutaz,” Tamberi said. “We were the only two athletes who have had the worst injury possible for a high jumper. I know what he did to be back. He knows what I did to be back.”
The pair developed a close friendship while competing with each other over the years. Barshim called Tamberi one of his best friends, “not only on the track but outside the track,” ESPN reported.
“I know for a fact that for the performance I did, I deserve that gold. He did the same thing, so I know he deserved that gold,” Barshim said. “This is beyond sport. This is the message we deliver to the young generation.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report