Brothers Conner and Cayden Long, from Tennessee, compete in triathlons together. Conner, 9, swims while pulling Cayden, 7, in a raft. Conner bikes while pulling Cayden behind him in a trailer. Conner pushes the trailer while he runs.
Cayden has a condition that leaves him unable to walk or talk. He was never able to play sports, until his older brother had an idea.
When Conner decided to compete in the Nashville Kids Triathlon, he wanted Cayden to join him. In June 2011, with the help of special equipment, the brothers completed the race. As they crossed the finish line, Cayden smiled and Conner happily pumped his fists in the air.
"That was my favorite moment," Conner says. "Because I knew we could finish that race." That spirit and determination earned the Long brothers the 2012 SportsKids of the Year award from Sports Illustrated Kids magazine.
Since their first triathlon, Conner and Cayden have competed in 14 races together. At events, people stop to tell them how inspiring they are. The brothers prove that kids with special needs can participate in many of the same activities that other kids do. But for Conner and Cayden, the races are a chance for them to have fun together—and they have no plans to stop.
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