BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You

sports / olympics

This Is The Most Heartbreaking Finish Of The Olympics So Far

I'm not crying. You're crying.

Posted on August 7, 2016, at 6:02 p.m. ET

This is Mara Abbott, a professional cyclist from Boulder, Colorado, who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics women's road race on Sunday.

Abbott led the pack up one of the course's hardest climbs, Vista Chinesa, during the almost four-hour race. She watched as Dutch rider Annemie van Vleuten suffered a horrific crash on the downhill, then pushed ahead.
Bryn Lennon / Getty Images

Abbott led the pack up one of the course's hardest climbs, Vista Chinesa, during the almost four-hour race. She watched as Dutch rider Annemie van Vleuten suffered a horrific crash on the downhill, then pushed ahead.

With a flat 10 kilometers ahead of her, Abbott was in the gold medal position, until a pack of three worked to overtake her.

NBC

The Netherlands' Anna van der Breggen, Sweden's Emma Johansson, and Italy's Elisa Longo Borghini drafted behind each other until they were eventually able to pass Abbott on the turn.

In the final seconds of the race, with the finish line IN SIGHT, Abbott slipped from first to fourth place.

NBC

:HEARTS BREAKING ACROSS AMERICA:

Here's a video of the final stretch.

❤️ if you agree, Mara Abbott (@cosunshinemka) is still a hero. https://t.co/AlnXrSc96E https://t.co/L5AZEPgh8B

ADVERTISEMENT

After Abbott's ride, she was immediately embraced by supporters and teammates.

A hug from an grateful teammate. @cosunshinemka credits @k_armstrong's early efforts for her near win. #ridewithUS

Fans sent heartful tweets Abbot's way.

Dear @cosunshinemka: You raced your heart out. You did everything you could. You made your country proud. Thank you for that. 🇺🇸 #Rio2016

One of the most inspiring rides I've ever seen. You rock #MaraAbbott #USA #RioOlympics2016

Hey Mara Abbott, I think you are f'ing awesome. Thank you for showing how rad women can be on bikes. cc: @cosunshinemka

ADVERTISEMENT

Mara Abbott @cosunshinemka may not have won a medal, but your performance has won you the admiration of your country. #womenscycling

.@cosunshinemka rode like a champion today. #ridewithUS

In a post-race interview, Abbott was in miraculously good spirits. "You're just riding as hard as you can, and just concentrating on that," she said.

“You don't actually believe you can win ... I didn’t believe [I could win] until I passed 200 meters to go. And then I thought, 'Oh my god, oh my god, this is going to happen,' and then they passed me. So, I guess that's what they say about counting your chickens until they hatch, unfortunately."Watch the interview here.
NBC

“You don't actually believe you can win ... I didn’t believe [I could win] until I passed 200 meters to go. And then I thought, 'Oh my god, oh my god, this is going to happen,' and then they passed me. So, I guess that's what they say about counting your chickens until they hatch, unfortunately."

Watch the interview here.

YOU GO, GIRL!!! Thanks for showing us what hard work looks like.

Proud of you.
Bryn Lennon / Getty Images

Proud of you.

Sign up for BuzzFeed's Rio Roundup newsletter to get the hottest news each day of the games!



If you can't see the signup box above, just go here to sign up!

For full Olympics coverage, tune in to your local NBC broadcast

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT