We would like the U.S. Olympic Committee to name Abbey D'Agostino, the women's 5,000-meter runner who stopped to help Nikki Hamblen of New Zealand after both fell in their qualifying race, as the USA flagbearer in the Rio Olympics Closing Ceremony.
The stated mission of the International Olympic Committee's Olympic Spirit program is to:
1. Build a peaceful and better world in the Olympic Spirit which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play
2. Inspire and motivate the youth of the world to be the best they can be
3. Promote tolerance and understanding in these increasingly troubled times in which we live, to make our world a more peaceful place
By her selfless act in encouraging a competitor in her time of despair to finish the race; through her sheer grit and determination to finish the race despite suffering a torn ACL and meniscus; and with her classy demonstration of grace under the most extreme conditions, Abbey D'Agostino is the living embodiment of the Olympic Spirit and personifies the very best traits of the U.S.A. -- an American who Is competitive, yet compassionate; self-driven and yet still caring for others who have had misfortune visited upon them; and as physically and mentally tough of an athlete as you will find in any sport, yet one who embraces all of her competitors in friendship through her sportsmanship.
We urge the U.S. Olympic Committee to name Abbey D'Agostino to be the USA flag bearer in the closing ceremonies, to reflect the ideals of both the Olympic Games and the United States of America. Thank you for your consideration.