Bailey Matthews is just like most 8-year-old boys, and loves to run, swim, and ride his bike. The only difference he has compared to other boys is that Bailey was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was 18 months old.
But this disability didn't stop him from entering the Castle Howard Triathlon in North Yorkshire, England. Bailey was permitted to use reasonable modifications in order to compete. His father, a seasoned triathlete, assisted him during the 100 meter swim. His bike had stabilizers to help him balance during the 4,000 meter bike ride, and he used his walker during the 1,300 meter run.
"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,'" Bailey's father Jonathan told The Yorkshire Post. "He is more than eager to get out and do something. If we can make that easier for him then that it what we will do."
Although Bailey did it for himself, seeing the crowd respond to him was pretty sweet.
As Bailey turned the final corner and saw that the finish line was a mere 20 meters away, he decided to do something truly incredible: he let go of his walker and headed toward the finish line all on his own.
"You can see his little face when he came round and saw everyone, that was his way of finishing in style and showing everyone what he could do. It was the response from the crowd that pushed him to do that," his mother Julie Hardcastle said to The Yorkshire Post.
Bailey was triumphantly headed toward the finish line when the unthinkable happened.
He fell down.
Far from defeated, Bailey showed everyone what a true athlete does when facing difficult circumstances.
Watch the video below to see Bailey's big finish: