Cliché-ish as often indeed it sounds, but nothing really beats the good and sincere intentions of the human spirit. The Long brothers from Tennessee, Conner, aged 9, and Cayden, younger at age 7, but the one with cerebral palsy, definitely know that in their very young hearts. Competing together in triathlons, more for play and brotherhood but also with a noble mission, the two boys were ultimately recognised by the Sports Illustrated Kids magazine, naming them as the 2012 SportsKids of the Year.
The Team Long brothers got to experience their first race together on July 2012. But instead of racing individually, and perhaps even racing to outrun each other, the two boys raced together. Literally.
As a victim of cerebral palsy, Cayden cannot walk nor talk. He has limited physical functions. But these did not stop Conner to think of ways how he might be able to create bonding moments with his younger brother. Until the thought of joining triathlons entered his mind.
In their first ever race together, Conner swam while pulling Cayden in a raft, biked to the best of his speed with his little brother towed behind in a trailer, and then later run while pushing that very same trailer. They didn't win that first race. But the journey of their brotherhood neither didn't end there.
"People don't realize that when you're special needs and in a wheelchair, you won't be able to get out that much," Conner said in November 2011 to ESPN.
"If people would race with people who can't walk or talk, or who have any kind of autism, it might open the eyes of (those) who don't really care about it," Conner said in the video at the Facebook page of Special Olympics Arizona. To view the video click here --- https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=244020232398018