He lost valuable time and missed the chance to perform at his best, but breaking one of his bindings during the men’s 7.5 km sprint showed Australia’s Jethro Mahon just how strong the spirit of sportsmanship is at the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
One-third into the race at Birkebeineren Biathlon Stadium on Sunday, Mahon stuck his pole between his legs and tripped.
One of his bindings broke and his first race at the Lillehammer 2016 looked to be over far too soon for the Melbourne-based biathlete, who trains at Mount Hotham, where Australia’s only biathlon range is located.
In the chaotic seconds following the incident, a display of kindness saved Mahon’s day.
“I broke my binding on the top, but luckily an Estonian biathlete came and gave me his spare ski. It was a fully waxed ski, which is time consuming to do, fully prepared. That was very, very nice of him,” said Mahon. “I can hardly believe it.”
Mahon went on to complete the race, finishing 50th, but secure in the knowledge that his fellow biathletes have got his back.
Written by Vegard Anders Skorpen, IOC Young Reporters