Against All Odds Brothers Compete in Triathlons, Win SI Award

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Brother Conner and Cayden Long have a unique story — one that exemplifies self-sacrifice and love.

Nine-year-old Conner took it upon himself to compete with his younger brother Cayden in triathlons. But Cayden has hypertonic cerebral palsy, which leaves him unable to walk or talk on his own. So Conner pulls Cayden in a raft during the swim portion of the triathlon; he pulls him in a trailer during the bike and pushes him in the same trailer during the run.

“When I see him smiling and laughing, that means he’s having a good time,” Conner said.

And while they finish last, they finish together, as bonded brothers who have inspired others who hear their story. They’ve even won theĀ 2012 Sports Illustrated Kids SportsKids of the Year award.

Conner is a champion — and protector — of his younger brother.

“The one thing that makes me really mad is when people walk down the road and say the ‘R’ word — if you know what that is,” he said.

Conner said he hopes others would be more willing to open their eyes and hearts to those who are different them themselves. According to Sports Illustrated, the Long family hopes to start a non-profit organization to inspire more people and to raise money to help upgrade their equipment as Cayden gets bigger.

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