Alistair Brownlee helping his brother finish this triathlon - sacrificing his own position - quite something to see. pic.twitter.com/ILry9205U7— SimonNRicketts (@SimonNRicketts) September 19, 2016
In an ultimate act of brotherly love and incredible sportsmanship, a British Olympian gave up his chance to win the World Triathlon Series finale in order to help his younger brother, who had grinded to a halt from exhaustion.
Jonny Brownlee, 26, was just 700 meters from the finish line and second in place to win the race when he, began to lose control of his legs. Heat stroke left him dazed, confused and disoriented, forcing him to stagger and slump.
He would have lost the race, surely, if his elder brother and Olympic gold medalist, Alistair Brownlee, who was just behind Jonny in third place, had not abandoned his own chance at victory to help him. The 28-year-old athlete carried his brother for the final yards, propping his hand up on his shoulder, and finally pushed him over the finish line in second place.
Although South Africa’s Henri Schoeman won the triathlon and Alistair was placed third, the latter’s loyalty and compassion made him the real winner of the competition.
“If he’d conked out before the finish line and there wasn’t medical support it could have been really dangerous,” said the older Brownlee. “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.”
Some people initially protested the Yorkshire brothers’ finish, but triathlon rules allow assistance from other competitors.
Jonny, who collapsed as soon as he reached the finish line, needed immediate medical attention afterwards.
Sports fans have already dubbed the Brownlees two of the greatest sportsmen ever.
Well done Brownlee brothers true sportsmen. Boo to Spanish Tri for citing outside help!— Rhydian Evans (@welchcyclist) September 19, 2016
Alistair Brownlee is the greatest sportsman alive today— Freddy Fruit Fly (@FreddyFruitFly) September 19, 2016