The occasion was the 2016 Summer Olympics also known as Rio 2016, an international multi-sport event held in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The event is a heat of the women’s 5,000-metres.
The incident occurred about 3,000 metres (yards) into the race, when Abbey D’Agostino of the US and New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin collided, and both went down.
Hamblin fell heavily and just lay there, appearing to be in tears.
Instead of continuing the race to catch up, the American put her hands under the New Zealander’s shoulders to help her up, telling her not to give up.
As they continued the race, it became clear that D’Agostino’s injury was the more serious and her ankle had been badly hurt.
So, it was Hamblin’s turn to be the helper, hanging back to encourage her rival.
“She helped me first,” said Hamblin after the race. “I tried to help her. She was pretty bad.”
She eventually had to leave D’Agostino behind and thought the American would have to give up.
She waited at the finish line where they shared a hug.
This time, it was D’Agostino who was in tears, and she was taken out of the stadium in a wheelchair.
“That girl is the Olympic spirit right there,” said Hamblin.
The organisers reinstated the two runners as finalists if they were fit enough to race in the final.
D’Agostino did not race in the final.
Their sportsmanship in helping one another up and to the finish line saw the pair presented with the International Fair Play Committee Award at those Olympics.
The image of that moment of sportsmanship was beamed throughout the world.
Only those with encyclopaedic memories will know who won the final. However, the entire world remembers who didn’t!
The last did indeed come first.