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Everyday Legend: The 8 Year Old Triathlete With Cerebral Palsy

by Sukh Singh, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International

A 1.3-kilometre run.

A 4-kilometre cycle ride.

A 100-metre swim.

How does that sound to you?

You may have come across the humbling and inspiring story of Bailey Matthews from the UK, who, at the age of 8 years old, with Cerebral Palsy, ran, rode and swam his way to complete his first ever triathlon on the 28th July. Here he is crossing the finish line.

Bailey went way beyond what most people expected of him. He has the willpower, the drive and determination to not let a physical condition stop him from doing something he loves. Here are his parents, Julie and Jonathan on their son,

Julie, "We have always tried to make sure that if there is something he wants to do, there is no such word as can't.”

His dad Jonathan added, "The majority of what he does is self-propelled. He sets his own goals when he is swimming and says I am going to do x amount of metres today. He is more than eager to get out and do something. If we can make that easier for him then that is what we will do.”

“There Is No Such Word as Can’t”

How often does that word - and its cousins "shouldn't" and "won't" enter your head? Bailey’s parents give him an incredibly nurturing environment to help him fulfil his dreams. His passion is infectious and is something we can all use a bit more of!

Here is a wonderful BBC interview with Bailey himself that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face!!

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Finish line image courtesy of U.S. Navy @ Flickr