It must be a great source of pride to have an Olympic athlete in the family. Now imagine how it must feel to have two; this is reality for the parents of triathletes and London 2012 medal winners Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee.
Alistair, born in 1998, and brother Jonathan, born in 1990, are both triathlon champions, with the former taking gold at London 2012 and the latter taking bronze, respectively.
The Brownlees aren’t the first set of siblings to dominate a sport, when you consider the likes of tennis world champions Venus and Serena Williams, and football legends Jack and Booby Charlton.
So what’s the secrets to the Brownlee brothers’ success? Both were educated at Bradford Grammar School in Yorkshire, an establishment which has produced sports stars including Olympic swimmer Adrian Moorhouse and England rugby players, Dan Scarborough and Charlie Hodgson.
The brothers are also alumni of the University of Leeds, although Alistair originally began a medicine degree at Cambridge University – he decided to change paths eight weeks into the first term.
While the brothers may share the same university, it is perhaps more significant to note that they both train as part of the triathlon club based at Leeds Metropolitan University’s Carnegie High Performance centre.
Introduced to the concept of triathlon competitions in their early teenage years by an uncle, it was this early interest and time to develop their skills as athletes which led to their success.
Talking to the Daily Mail in October 2013, the brothers revealed several things which they believe have been crucial to their success as Olympic athletes, including the encouragement of their parents to enjoy being active and spending time outside.
Sibling rivalry also seemingly played a big part on their success as triathletes. In the same interview with the Daily Mail, Jonathan explained that sharing a sport with a sibling encourages one another to perform better and work harder.
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