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Evan Dunfee posts heartwarming photo with rival after controversial race

Evan Dunfee, a Canadian 50K racewalker who was involved in a mid-race incident at the Olympics, posted a photo of him and his Japanese rival.

Evan Dunfee

Canadian Evan Dunfee, the 50K racewalker who has been praised for his class and integrity following a mid-race incident in Rio, showed what the Olympics are all about at the closing ceremony.

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Dunfee, 25, met up with the Japanese racewalker who beat him out for the bronze medal in the 50K racewalk after a controversial bump that originally resulted in Hirooki Arai being disqualified. The Canadian was temporarily upgraded to bronze on Friday before the Japanese team appealed the decision, which was successful.

Instead of taking the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Dunfee released a statement (see the full transcript here) saying that he would not pursue action. Dunfee’s fourth-place finish stood as a result.

“I will sleep soundly tonight, and for the rest of my life, knowing I made the right decision,” explained Dunfee. “I will never allow myself to be defined by the accolades I receive, rather the integrity I carry through life.”

Some, including Andre De Grasse’s coach, endorsed Dunfee for Canada’s flag-bearer for the closing ceremony at the Olympics for his integrity and class. That honour went to swimmer Penny Oleksiak.

Video of the mid-race bump

At the Olympic closing ceremony, Dunfee posted a photo of the two exchanging gear with the hashtag #WhyWeSport. The photo has been shared more than 2,800 times as of Monday morning.

Evident by the photo, the two were able to put any hard feelings behind them. Dunfee himself admitted that contact during the 50K walk was not intentional.

RELATED: Classy: Evan Dunfee releases statement after controversial podium-miss.

Arai was holding a Canadian mitten and Dunfee was holding a Japanese flag. The closing ceremony happened on Sunday night as the Rio Olympics came to a close. The next edition of the Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo in 2020.