Former Centaur Isaiah Jewett left an indelible mark on the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo when he fell during a semi-final heat in the men’s 800 meters but stopped to help the runner who tripped him.
“I just felt like when I was starting to lift, somebody hit the back of my heel and that caused me to fall,” Jewett said. “It was devastating. I’m not going to lie.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, “Jewett, the NCAA 800-meters champion from USC, was in the third position and Nijel Amos of Botswana the fourth as the racers approached the final turn. A moment later, both fell hard on the track. Jewett helped Amos to his feet, shook his hand and then put his arm over his shoulder as they finished the race.
“I was super frustrated, I was so mad because I felt like I had a chance,” Jewett said, “and I learned from like from all the superhero anime I watch, regardless of how mad you are, you have to be a hero at the end of the day. And that was my version of trying to be a hero, standing up and up and showing good character even if it’s my rival or whoever I’m racing, or if anything happened.”
Olympic referees cleared Amos to race in the final, but not Jewett.
Jewett was disappointed, but focused forward. “I have to live in that moment, not the moment that just happened. Even if I get another chance to run, I’m just super blessed that I’m here and even able to talk to [reporters]. It’s amazing like I’m able to go onto this stage and show you guys this is me.
“So that’s just what I want to continue to do, to show who I am. If it wasn’t today, I’ll try again tomorrow. But that’s not going to stop me from trying to be a hero.”