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What can we learn from the Brownlee brothers?

What can we learn from the Brownlee brothers?

Following one of the greatest demonstrations of sportsmanship in elite level sport. What can we take away from our Yorkshire heroes.

This inspiring finish to the race demonstrates why sport is so important not just for exercise but to teach us so many vital life skills. If you don’t’ follow the sport of triathlon, then you may not have seen what took place this past Sunday in Cozumel, Mexico during the final moments of the World Championships.


Alistair and Johnny Brownlee from Great Britain are two forces that must be reckoned with if you want to claim a top spot in the sport of Olympic distance triathlon. These two brothers claimed gold and silver at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, but it’s what they did this past weekend that has the whole world talking.

While competing at the ITU World Championships in Cozumel, both brothers were beginning to set the stage for yet another one-two finish. Johnny had a comfortable lead as he approached the finish line while his brother was battling it out for second place just behind him. With 1K to go, things went south for Johnny. His body began to shut down in dramatic fashion as a stumbled to the side of the course only meters from the finish.

Johnny appeared to be done. He looked dazed, and a podium finish seemed to be disappearing. It was at this moment that his brother Alistair rounded the corner on his way to what would now be a gold medal when he noticed Johnny standing to the side of the course. To everyone’s sheer amazement Alistair also stopped as his gold medal chances ran buy him. He put his brothers arm around his neck and all but dragged him to the finish line. As if that were not enough, as they approached the finish line, he pushed his brother to the finish ahead of him.


What can we take away from this?

What we can take from this to put into our own lives and training is that everybody needs a little support now and then. If an Olympic Silver medalist and one of the worlds best triathletes can struggle to reach their goals, that they train for everyday, then its acceptable for you to struggle. But, that is when it is more important than ever to use the support of friends, coaches, trainers or even your family to get you to the finish line. That extra push from somebody close to you can make all the difference.


It’s also important to note that Jonny’s goals was to win the world series and become the best in the world. Despite the best efforts of his brother he didn’t reach that goal. Again it’s important for us to have goals to aim towards. However, we need to be realistic that occasionally we will fall just short. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying. For every time you fall short on the flip side there are the times you win Olympic medals.

“Sometimes in sport we talk about winning is the most important thing in the world, and a lot of the time it is,” said Jonny, “but maybe, yesterday, helping a brother out was more important, all all I can do is say thank you. I will be thankful for the rest of my life.”

author: Matt Williams


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