I’m usually bored out of my mind when I’m scrolling through my Facebook news feed, but today I spotted a video that peaked my interest. I decided to click on it, and I’m really glad that I did. It’s the story of Conner and Cayden Long – the Sports Illustrated “SportsKids of the Year”. Conner is a healthy 9-year-old boy, but 7-year-old Cayden was born with cerebral palsy, which leaves him unable to walk. Instead of leaving his brother Cayden on the sidelines in his wheelchair, Conner competes with his brother in triathlons. They’re known as “Team Long Brothers”.
This is an inspirational story about love and brotherhood. It’s well worth the five minutes of your time (trust me):
The brothers are aiming for the moon! How can you not love that?!
The video above only shows part of the story though. ”Team Long Brothers” are even more incredible than you can imagine. Conner pulls his brother on a trailer when he bikes, he pushes him in a cart when he runs, and he pulls him in a tube when he swims. Keep in mind — these are competitions that span for miles.
It’s not always glamorous for “Team Long Brothers”. Conner and Cayden wanted to compete in an IronKids competition, but with 1,400 kids competing, organizers were concerned there wouldn’t be room for Cayden’s trailer, cart and tube. Conner could have competed without Cayden, but he didn’t want to. Conner and Cayden are a team, so Conner wasn’t going leave Cayden out. The organizers eventually decided to let the brothers compete, and they finished in last place. But, like they said in the video, “Though they would finish last, they finished together — as one.”
After I watched the first video of “Team Long Brothers” on Facebook, I wanted to know more. That’s how I came across this video by ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi. It goes even deeper into the story of Conner and Cayden Long. I just can’t get enough of this story, so I think this clip (even though it’s ten minutes long) is worth your time as well. I have to admit that both stories brought tears to my eyes (I’m a softy).
“Team Long Brothers” even has a Facebook page now. On there, you can see that Conner and Cayden were invited to a Tennessee Titans game to raise the “12th Titans” flag, and you can also find pictures of the family in New York City to accept the award for Sports Illustrated “SportsKids of the Year” (including a photo of Conner with an autographed basketball from Lebron James). The “Team Long Brothers” Facebook page has a little over 8,000 likes, but their following continues to grow by the second.
There are plenty of sports stories that come and go (I know — I put many of them together), but there are some that really sink in. They grab a hold of you and they never let go. The story of Conner and Cayden – ”Team Long Brothers” – is one I won’t forget for a really long time.
What do you think of “Team Long Brothers”? Would you do the same thing for your siblings? I would love to hear your comments! You can leave your thoughts in the section below, or you can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for more on sports, food and travel!