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Two brothers compete triathlons together so they can share in accomplishment despite cerebral palsy

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

It is the kind of inspiring stories which has the power to move anyone who sees it: An ambitious elementary school athlete wants to complete a triathlon, but is sad that his younger brother can't come along with him because he has cerebral palsy. For most human beings, that would stop the two from competing together.

For 9-year-old Connor Green, it inspired creativity and a commitment to find a way to bring his brother along for the ride, not to mention the swim and run. In the end, Green developed a system with which he could ensure that Cayden Long, his younger brother, could go with him every step of the way, from his first stroke in the water to the final few feet of his run.

As documented by ABC News in the video above, the brothers Green and Long have won the hearts and minds of hosts of fans who have seen them compete alongside other children in a handful of kids triathlons. While the two have never won a race, Connor has had more to contend with than most young triathletes.

First, Green hops in the pool with a special harness that allows him to tow his younger brother behind in an inflatable raft. Once they finish that segment of the race, Green tows Long in a bike cart and then the duo -- who compete under the name Team Long Brothers -- finish with a run in which Connor pushes Cayden in a stroller.

Connor knows that the growing triathlon quest that he and his brother have embarked upon has inspired a number of onlookers. Most recently, the two finished the Cambridge, Mass.-based New England Kids Triathlon, with onlookers including Examiner.com's Bryan Ellis, who chronicled their race for the site.

The brothers even competed the Iron Kids triathlon, though Connor almost refused to compete when the event brought up concerns over accommodating the pair's special equipment, an issue which could have forced Connor to compete on his own.

Green simply refused to do that, and the two were eventually allowed to compete together.

Even though Cayden can't speak or walk, Connor told ESPN he knows when his brother is having a good time because he can see him smiling and laughing, something that has happened numerous times since the duo began trialthloning together.

The boys' mother said she thinks the events have changed her younger son for the better in a more lasting way, too.

"I know it's changed him," Jenny Long told ESPN. "With the help of his brother, he's found something he can do."

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