We've seen plenty of amazing, inspiring competitors from around the world as the Olympics are underway these days, but two young boys from Whitehouse, Tenn. -- Connor and Cayden Long -- take inspiration to a whole new level.
The brothers compete in triathlons together as a team, most recently making headlines for the New England Triathlon in Cambridge, Mass. While triathlons are an ambitious sport for anyone, these boys are no ordinary competitors; instead they're extraordinary. You see, Cayden, 6, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a young age and can neither walk nor talk. When Connor, 8, noticed how often he was left out of activities he wanted to find something they could do together. He picked triathlons.
"People don't realize that when you're special needs and in a wheelchair, you won't be able to get out that much," he told ESPN.
It took some creativity to figure out how to make it work, but make it work they did, and last year they competed in their first event. During the swim portion, Connor pulls Cayden in a raft; for the biking portion, he pulls him a trailer attached to bike. When they run, Connor pushes his brother in a stroller. That saying, he's not heavy, he's my brother, seems extremely appropriate here, and Connor says Cayden inspires him too.
Since the first triathlon last year, they have done more across the country. They don't come in first, but even if they're last, the joy the races brings to the brothers and the inspiration they bring to others is worth much more. The description of Team Long, as they call themselves, on their Facebook page is perfect: "Two brothers who share a love for each other and for racing and showing the world a little bit about what inclusion is all about."
Here's a touching video that shows their incredible brotherly bond.
Do these brothers inspire you? How do your children inspire you?
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