Tuesday, 20 September 2016

He ain't heavy, he's my Brownlee brother...

Sport has provided many inspirational moments this Summer.

Firstly the Olympics, and stunning performances by the whole of Team GB, but particularly the cyclists Laura Trott and Jason Kenny.  Then the Paralympics, with the amazing gold medal tally achieved, and each and every athlete a perfect example of overcoming adversity.

But sometimes, there's something which captures everybody's attention and reminds you that even in the highly competitive world of sport there's more to life than winning - and that moment was what I shall call the 'he ain't heavy, he's my brother' Brownlee moment.

The road had indeed been long, and as Jonny negotiated the last winding turn of his triathlon in Mexico he staggered around like a drunk man who couldn't find his way home.

It was almost painful to watch - the finishing line was only a few yards away and winning this race would have meant he'd won the world triathlon series.

But he just couldn't do it, his legs were jellified (technical term) and he stumbled into the arms of a steward.

Just then, his older, wiser brother Alistair who'd paced himself properly in the race, appeared and scooped him up and half-carried, half-dragged him to the finishing line where Jonny was unceremoniously dumped to ensure he crossed the line of his own accord and could claim second place, before being rushed to hospital to be re-hydrated.

Alistair himself - who could have won the race had he continued running - gave up his victory to help his brother in his time of need.

This was nothing short of heroic - it's not often in sport, or indeed in life, that people give up their own chance of winning to support somebody else.

If I was Alistair and Jonny's Mum, I would be so proud right now.  Not only are they brilliant athletes, they're also decent human beings who look out for each other. 

The only way this could have been more perfect would have been if the South African runner who overtook them and claimed victory had just run beside them instead. 

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