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Selfless athlete gives up his chance at victory to help carry his brother across the finish line

Seven years ago, the Brownlee brothers touched many hearts around the world with their incredible sportsmanship and brotherly love.

Selfless athlete gives up his chance at victory to help carry his brother across the finish line
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Alexander Koerner

Some people are living proof of the age-old saying, "Blood is thicker than water." The bond between siblings can, at times, surpass any other relationship. Brothers and sisters looking out for each other is always a sight to the sore eyes. One such wholesome incident showcasing brotherly love between two athletes astonished many sports fans around the world. In the grand finale of the 2016 ITU World Triathlon, the famous Brownlee brothers exhibited amazing sportsmanship. What caught everyone's attention was how Alistair Brownlee helped his exhausted younger brother, Jonathan Brownlee, to the finish line.



 

With just 400m to the finish line, Jonathan was absolutely debilitated due to heat exhaustion. When he lost his balance and was about to give up, a race official standing by caught the athlete and took him aside. However, Alistair was not ready to let his younger brother give up. He instantly caught up and took Jonathan in his arms. Wrapping his younger brother's arms around his shoulder, Alistair aided him through the rest of the race course while an exhausted Jonathan tried to keep pace with his brother. The duo was surpassed by the winner, Henri Schoeman, representing South Africa. 

Image Source: Alistar Brownlee of Great Britain helps his brother Jonathan Brownlee (c) of Great Britain to cross the finished line as Jonathan collapsed of dehydration 200 meters before the finish line during the Men Elite ITU World Championship race at the Fonatur Triathlon Park on September 18, 2016 in Cozumel, Mexico. (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)
Image Source: Alistar Brownlee of Great Britain helps his brother Jonathan Brownlee (c) of Great Britain to cross the finished line as Jonathan collapsed of dehydration 200 meters before the finish line during the Men Elite ITU World Championship race at the Fonatur Triathlon Park on September 18, 2016 in Cozumel, Mexico. (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)

While nearing the finish line, Alistair did the unthinkable. He simply pushed Jonathan over the line and then finished the race third himself. Running stride to stride together, the brothers finished the race, with Jonathan securing second place in the finale. Speaking to the Triathlon's reporters, Alistair said, "I have been in that position before when it happened to me in London a few years ago, I remember being in second place and then coming around and someone telling me I was in tenth. I couldn't remember all of those people passing me. So I swore that, literally, if it happened to anyone, I would help them across the line." Adding that he had to "what was right in that situation," Alistair emphasized that in such a big race, he would always be ready to help anyone

Image Source: Alistar Brownlee of Great Britain helps his brother Jonathan Brownlee (c) of Great Britain to cross the finished line as Jonathan collapsed of dehydration 200 meters before the finish line during the Men Elite ITU World Championship race at the Fonatur Triathlon Park on September 18, 2016 in Cozumel, Mexico. The medal ceremony was cancelled due to the critical condition of Jonathan Brownlee. (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)
Image Source: Alistar Brownlee of Great Britain helps his brother Jonathan Brownlee (c) of Great Britain to cross the finished line as Jonathan collapsed of dehydration 200 meters before the finish line during the Men Elite ITU World Championship race at the Fonatur Triathlon Park on September 18, 2016 in Cozumel, Mexico. The medal ceremony was canceled due to the critical condition of Jonathan Brownlee. (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)

Jonathan Brownlee secured second place not just in the race but also in the overall ITU World Triathlon Series. Spanish athlete Mario Mola, who beat him to first place in the series, actually came fifth during the final race. Knowing that he topped the series mainly because of Jonathan's exhaustion, Mola said, "First of all, this was not how I wanted to win the world championship. Luckily I was able to be in the top five, considering Jonny didn't win the race." While Mola had lost hope of securing the series ranking, Jonathan slowing down made him fight for his place. "We want everyone to be safe after the finish line, it's not the way I wanted it, but that's triathlon," the series winner sportively added.

The Spanish Triathlon Federation put forward an appeal to disqualify Jonathan Brownlee as he was assisted by Alistair Brownlee during the final portion of the race to finish the 2016 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Cozumel. However, the ITU competition jury unanimously ruled against the plea to disqualify Jonathan. According to Appendix K, Rule 7 of the ITU Competition, "athletes can receive help from another athlete, Technical Official or Race Official." Hence, the brothers' efforts paid off, making Jonathan the runner-up of the race as well as the series.



 

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