HE AIN’T HEAVY, HE’S MY BROTHER
An athlete showed what true brotherly love is like as he neared the end of a brutal triathlon race on Sunday in Cozumel, Mexico.
It was the final race of the season for the World Triathlon Series with contestant Jonny Brownlee all set to claim victory. He was in the lead with the finish line only a half a mile away. Close behind him was his brother Alistair Brownlee who was in the midst of a hotly contested battle for second place with South African Henri Schoeman. However, as he drew closer and closer to the finish line, Jonny’s body suddenly began to quit on him. He slowed his pace and began to stagger and stumble off the track.
His brother Alistair saw what was happening and immediately took action. He slowed his pace long enough to seize his brother and stop him from falling. Alistair threw his brother’s arm over his shoulder and began pulling and dragging him forward so he could finish the race. Then, when they were with in steps of the finish line, Alistair made another very unselfish move. He pushed his brother over the line which allowed him to finish second. Of course, his actions allowed Schoeman to pass the pair and claim first place but Alistair said he didn’t care.
“If it would have happened to anyone I would have helped them across the line,“ Alistair stated. “It’s an awful position to be in. If he conked out before the finish line and there wasn’t medical help, it was a dangerous situation to be in.“
After the race some athletes protested but their appeal was denied. After a study of the triathlon rule book, officials said the rules allow athletes to receive help from either race officials or other athletes. If Jonny, who ended up in the hospital suffering from severe dehydration, had managed to win the event he would have clinched the World Triathlon Series title which was won by Italian Mario Mala who came in fifth in the race.
Alistair told International Sports in an interview that he had been in similar position himself in London, about six years ago.
“All I remember is being in second place trying to win the race and then waking up in the hospital. Later I was told I came in tenth. It was like, why didn’t all those people who came past me help me out? So, I didn’t give it a second thought, I just had to help him.“
The Brownlee brothers have been dominant in triathlon events for years. The British duo constantly compete against one another for first or second place. Alistair, 28, is the two-time defending Olympic champion while his brother Jonny, 26, won bronze in 2012 and 2016.