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2012 Sportskids of the Year :: Conner & Cayden Long

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The biggest sports story of 2012 is the story of two brothers from White House, Tennessee... Conner and Cayden Long. They race triathlons together, but not like you would think. Their story is so inspiring that even Lebron James said they should be Sport Illustrated's Sportsmen of the Year instead of himself.

Conner and Cayden

Conner is 9 years old, and he is a very fit athlete playing all types of sports. His younger brother Cayden is 7 years old, but hasn't been able to play any sports with his brother because of a disease called cerebral palsy that he was diagnosed with since he was a baby. So last year, Conner made a decision to team up with Cayden in all three events of his triathlons (running, biking, swimming).

How do they do it?

Conner and Cayden LongConner and Cayden LongCourtesy of sikids.com
 

A kids Triathlon consists of 100 yards of swimming, a few miles of biking and running. The event organizers helped supply Conner and Cayden with the necessary equipment so that Conner could push and pull Cayden through the 3-event course.

  • Swimming - Conner would pull Cayden on a raft
  • Biking - Conner would pull Cayden on a trailer
  • Running - Conner pushes Cayden in a safe athletic buggy

 

 

Sportskids of the Year

Sportskids of the YearSportskids of the YearCourtesy of Sports Illustrated
 

Even though Conner and Cayden are finishing last place in every event they have entered, they have won the Sports Illustrated SportsKids of the Year for 2012. They are now famous across the nation and inspiring other kids and adults with their teamwork, dedication and friendship.

Lebron was at the Sports Illustrated awards ceremony because he won the 2012 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year... but during his speach, he passed on the title to the kids...

"I am at a loss for words," said Lebron. "You guys are the real Sportsmen of the Year." 

And Lebron makes a very good point. Most of the time, everyone is only concerned about winning in sports. All the awards seem to go to players that are best athletes. In this case, sports created an opportunity about something much more important than just winning and it's great that Conner and Cayden have been recognized for their creativity, compassion and perseverance.

Triathlon Swimming and TowingTriathlon Swimming and TowingCourtesy of sikids.com
 

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