8-year-old Bailey Matthews is everything we admire in the most revered of athletes.
Completing a triathlon in England last weekend, Bailey’s accomplishments are made all the more spectacular by his ability to overcome the hurdles that would hold back many of his competitors.
Bailey Matthews suffers from cerebral palsy, a diagnosis he was given at just 18-months old. The condition, which affects his motor skills, often makes everyday movement difficult.
When his father adapted his usual walking frame to make movement more manageable, Bailey’s life was turned around.
Suddenly, the activities that Bailey loved to participate in, but unfortunately, was often left out of, were made completely available to him.
“The majority of what he does is self-propelled” said Jonathan Matthews, Bailey’s father.
“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!”
Bailey refused to give up and instead set his sights on completing the Castle Howard Triathlon in North Yorkshire – the children’s race that included a 100m swim, 4km bike ride and 1.3k run.
Hundreds of spectators cheered on Bailey as he pushed to cross the line, walking-frame free and full of pride.
“We have always tried to make sure that if there is something he wants to do,” Matthews told the Yorkshire Post, “There is no such word as ‘can’t’.”