A cross-country runner in North Dakota carried an injured competitor across the finish line during a recent race, a show of compassion that reflects the deeper meaning of sports.
The situation happened Saturday at the Eastern Dakota Conference’s Cross County Championship. Fargo South runner Danielle LeNoue was participating, nearing the finish, when she felt a pop in her knee. She crumpled to the ground in pain, an injury to her patella tendon.
She was sobbing.
“I started walking, and I could not go any further,” she told ABC affiliate WDAY-TV in Fargo.
Devils Lake runner Melanie Bailey encountered the fallen runner. While others ran past, Bailey stopped.
“All I could think about was she was in a lot of pain. And I wanted to help her,” Bailey said.
Bailey asked LeNoue to hop on her back. That’s how the two crossed the finish line, with Bailey carrying LeNoue.
“Honestly, I loved the way I ended it,” Bailey told WDAY. “It was a great way to end my cross-country season.”
The two have since been exchanging Facebook messages, the strangers turned friends because Bailey stopped to help.
“It’s pretty cool,” LeNoue said. “Touching moment for myself.”