This week, on National Siblings Day, Special Olympics released a powerful minute of video that had us all choked up here at Today’s Parent.
Posted on Facebook, where it has already has 6.3M views, the video kicks off with thrilled new parents holding their twin baby boys for the first time.
Next we see the brothers several months on, speed crawling up the hallway, each trying to inch ahead of the other to reach their mom. Then they’re a few years older, standing up against the wall, looking eagerly over at the lines their dad is marking to record the oh-so-slight difference in their heights. Fast forward a few more years and they’re scarfing down cereal, one eventually tipping back his bowl to his mouth, in an urgent bid to finish first.
Once the twins get to school age, we see them again as budding young athletes, racing and lifting weights together (surreptitiously checking to see who’s got the edge). Finally as teenagers, they compete—separately—in track and field races.
In between action shots of them running, the video cuts to moments of camaraderie at home when they’re growing up. The reveal: one of the brothers has Down syndrome.
As each twin wins his respective race, the clock registers 4.36. The brother who’s competing as a Special Olympics athlete raises his arms, then he makes his way through the crowded stadium to celebrate with his brother. They share a hug. The words “Born 4.36 seconds apart, it’s the only difference between us” flash up on the screen.
We love the simple message that every young athlete essentially goes through the same things: training hard, nurturing a healthy sense of competition, and otherwise just being a kid, engaging in play. If they’re lucky, there’s also a little sibling rivalry and a lot of sibling love in the mix as they grow up.
In response to the video, several commenters posted images of their own twins, one with Down syndrome, one without, and talked about the tight bond they share.
And one commenter gave a shout out to all the moms and dads “who do not limit opportunities for their children.” Look out for #TeamTodaysParent on the bleachers, waving that banner.