“I think it’s as close to death as you can be in sport.”
In sport winning is what it’s all about, unless love takes priority.
If you want to have your spirits lifted today. If you want a reminder what family is all about. If you want to see strength and courage and selflessness, then watch this.
The two men are British triathletes, two blokes you may not have heard of unless you follow the sport but two men whose names will be forever imprinted upon your heart after you watch this.
Two men who embody what family is all about.
The moment came in the World Triathlon Series in Cozumel, Mexico yesterday.
Jonny Brownlee, 26, was competing for the title against a field of champions – including his brother, Alistair, 28.
Jonny, who won silver at Rio only weeks ago to his big brother’s gold medal was leading comfortably heading into the final kilometre of the 10km run but then the heat began to take its toll.
Jonny Brownlee began to stumble. Via YouTube.
He’d gone into this final race of the season in second place in the world series standings behind the Spaniard Mario Mola, with his big brother out of contention, having missed earlier races.
It was his chance.
But the heat had taken its toll.
He began to weave and stumble across the course, heatstroke encroaching his body. It was danger time.
But coming up behind him was brother Alistair, who had been running comfortably in third. He put his arm around his brother and supported him, coming to his aide, literally carrying his younger brother along the final few hundred meters.
His brother dragged him to the finish line. Via YouTube.
A South African athlete overtook them, but the two men carried on.
When they reached the finish line Alistair’s final sacrifice came, he pushed his younger brother across the finish line.
They placed second and third. Mola was fifth.
South African Henri Schoeman, who won bronze behind the Brownlees in Rio celebrated his win, but the crowd’s eyes were only on the brothers. Their new heroes.
Finishes like this are nothing but controversial in sports and there was a protest against the Brownlees’ finish, but it was allowed as under triathlon rules assistance from other competitors is allowed.
From his hospital bed Jonny tweeted his thanks:
While his brother, who suffered a similar situation in 2010, told the BBC: “It’s an awful position to be in. If he’d conked out before the finish line and there wasn’t medical support it could have been really dangerous.”
He was coy about his instinct to help.
“It was a natural human reaction to my brother but for anyone I would have done the same thing. I think it’s as close to death as you can be in sport.”
But, as with all brothers wouldn’t let the moment pass without a ribbing, adding:
“I wish the flipping idiot had just paced it right and won the race. He could have jogged the last 2km.”