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Sunday, 6 December 2015

8-Year-Old Defies Odds And Finishes Triathlon. Inspiration At Its Finest.

8-Year-Old Defies Odds And Finishes Triathlon. Inspiration At Its Finest.

 Completing a triathlon is no easy task. Many people struggle when faced with the challenge of participating in just one physical competition, never mind three continuous feats of strength. It's a challenge that takes lots of training, preparation and determination - if you lack any of these qualities you're more than likely going to find yourself in an excessive amount of pain at the end of it (if you make the end of it). Therefore, if I were to tell you that an 8-year-old boy completed a triathlon you'd probably be quite impressed, right? Now what if I told you that this triathlon was not the only physical struggle this little boy had to endure?
 Bailey Matthews may only be 8-years-old, but he already has shown incredible determination and strength. While most children his age are off playing video games or hide and seek, the Doncaster, England native is busy using his energy to complete things that are much, much more challenging - like triathlons. Just last week, Matthews completed his first ever triathlon, the 5.6 kilometer Castle Howard Triathlon, in just under 90 minutes. The race, which is very physically demanding to say the least, consists of a 100-metre swim, a 4000-metre bike ride and a 1300-metre run. Amazing right? What's more amazing however, is that Bailey also suffers from cerebral palsy.
 Cerebral palsy drastically limits activity in those who have it due to the negative effects it has on a persons muscles, reflexes and overall movement. Those who suffer from the disorder often suffer from muscle spasms and a lack of balance - side effects that result in the need of a walker or other objects that can aid a persons movement. 8-year-old Bailey Matthews knew these facts all too well when he decided he wanted to participate in a triathlon - he just didn't care. But what motivated him to choose such a physically grueling challenge?
 When Bailey Matthews watched his father and uncle train and participate for various sporting events, he too wanted to test his strength. After days of begging his father to sign him up for the Castle Howard Triathlon his wish was finally granted. He set his eyes on training and undergoing the necessary preparation for a race of this magnitude. Though his father was there with him every step of the way, Bailey completed the triathlon virtually unaided. In fact, he even tossed his walker, which had been customized with all-terrain wheels for the event, as he made his way across the finish line.
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A full crowd of supporters clapped and cheered his name as Bailey Matthews pushed his walker aside and continued towards the finish line on his own. His father, following close behind, couldn't help but smile as he watched his son defy the odds. He jumped into his fathers arms after receiving his medal, and raised his hands in celebration - Bailey had done it - he set a goal for himself and he accomplished it. Thanks to a YouTube user who uploaded Bailey's actions, his story has spread worldwide, inspiring people all across the globe.
 Bailey's actions demonstrate what it means to be a champion. Often times in the world of sports, we forget about the nature of the game. We tend to look into silly things like contracts, salaries and scandals and forget about what really matters - passion, will and determination. Bailey Matthews exemplifies all of these things. He overcame his own personal struggles to show the entire world what true determination looks like, and though he may not have the physical advantages of most other 8-year-old boy out there, he sure is one of a kind. 
Main Image Source: News.com
Collage Image Source: 1. Perth Now 2. Daily Mail 3. News.com

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