Gianmarco Tamberi from Italy celebrates winning gold in the high jump at the Tokyo Olympics.

Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Sport can be savage. Sport can be brutal. But sometimes sport also throws up moments that reinvigorate your faith in humanity. 

Yesterday, the high jump event at the Tokyo Olympics provided a moment just like that. 

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Mutaz Essa Barshim from Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi from Italy were the last men standing in the final of the men’s high jump event on Sunday. Both had successfully cleared the 2.37 metres mark and both also couldn’t clear 2.39 metres, using up all three attempts.

Which served up a conundrum. Who wins? Officials offered Barshim and Tamberi two options. They could take part in jump-off, to decide a winner, or they could share the gold medal.

They chose to share the gold medal and the moment they decided to do so is perhaps the most wholesome moment of the Tokyo Olympics so far…

“Can we have two golds?”

This is the best moment of the Olympics. Barshim and Tamberi were tied after both clearing 2.37 meters and missing 3 times at 2.39.

They were offered a jump-off to decide the winner.

They decline so that they both could win Gold.

— Steve Magness (@stevemagness) August 1, 2021

“Can we have two golds?” Barshim asked. The answer was yes.

Some of the shots in the aftermath of the decision shows how much it meant to these two athletes.


The moment both athletes realized they could share gold.

Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images


Gianmarco Tamberi had missed the last Olympics due to injury.

Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images


Barshim celebrating his win.

Abbie Parr/Getty Images

“I look at him, he looks at me and we know it. We just look at each other and we know, that is it, it is done. There is no need,” Barshim said, in an interview afterwards.

“He is one of my best friends, not only on the track, but outside the track. We work together.”

Online, people reacted to one of the most emotional moments of the Tokyo Olympics so far.

This had me in tears.

Not joking.

Right before doing last jump, and then after winning high jump, Gimbo Tamberi placed on track the plaster cast he saved since 2016 when he broke his leg 15 days before Rio2016.

Climbing. Falling. Rising back.

It’s Italy 2021

— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) August 1, 2021

I didn’t know anything about high jump five minutes ago and now I’ll never forget Barshim and Tamberi sharing the gold medal for the high jump. Incredible scenes #Tokyo2020

— Nick Stoll (@NickStoll) August 1, 2021

 Sport is good.

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