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Watch The Joyful Moment Two Olympians Decided To Share A Gold Medal

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Gianmarco Tamberi Mutaz Essa Barshim Share Gold Olympics

In an extraordinary display of camaraderie and sportsmanship, two Olympic high jumpers have opted to share a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi both had their sporting dreams come true on Sunday, Aug 1, taking advantage of an unusual quirk in the sport’s rulebook. 

The pair have been friends and competitors for over a decade, leading them to this triumphant moment. 

Watch the video of two Olympians deciding to share a gold medal. 

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During the men’s high jump final, both Barshim and Tamberi were able to complete a jump of 2.37 meters — approximately 7 feet 9 ¼ inches. However, when both competitors failed to complete a 2.39 meter jump after three attempts each, two options emerged. 

According to a 135-page rulebook, the Olympians would have to choose to have a jump-off — meaning they would compete again to determine a winner. 

But, Barshim had a different suggestion and asked the official if it was possible to share the Olympic title. 

"It’s possible," the official told them and before he could finish explaining the rules, Barshim reached out to shake Tamberi’s hand, solidifying the shared win.

"" look at him, he looks at me, and we know it," Barshim said after the event, "We just look at each other and we know, that is it, it is done. There is no need."

The moment ignited an eruption of emotion from Tamberi who collapsed to the ground with joy after the decision. 

"We just enjoyed the moment," Tamberi said, "Because we wanted it so much."

In an unusual twist, there will now be two gold medal winners for the men’s high jump. Maksim Nedasekau of Belarus, who came third in the competition, received a bronze medal. 

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Mutaz Essa Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi have been friends for over 10 years. 

Tamberi and Barshim have had a friendship that has carried on across many international competitions since meeting at the world junior championships in Moncton, New Brunswick, in 2010.

The moment was not only a celebration of two accomplished athletes uniting together, but a moment of friendship between the men. 

"In the track, we are opponents, but still supporting each other. We want to win, we want to beat each other — but still, we know how hard it is to do this sport, how many sacrifices you have to do."

Tamberi and Barshim have also supported one another through injuries. In 2016, Tamberi watched from the stands at the Rio Olympics after an ankle injury took him out of competition.

In 2018, Barshim turned towards his Italian competitor for advice when a similar injury almost ended his career. 

Now, that mutual support stands as a message to sports stars and fans that sport doesn’t always have to be cutthroat. 

In a year that has been dominated by concerns over athletes’ mental health due to issues emphasized by Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka, this shared gold is an important reminder that one person’s success doesn’t have to be to someone else’s detriment. 

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment. Keep up with her Twitter for more.