Cerebral Palsy Athlete Completes Iron Man

The Iron Man triathlon is a grueling race that begins with a 2.4 mile swim (3.86 km), followed by a 112 mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride, and ends with a 26.2 mile (42.2 km) marathon run. It has a strict 17 hour time limit and no breaks in between. The Iron Man race is easily one of the most difficult sporting events in the world and is designed to push the limits and capabilities of the human body. Participants who are able to finish it within the time limit are given the title “Ironman.”

Photo Credits: Simon Skipper/Scanpix

Photo Credits: Simon Skipper/Scanpix

To the astonishment of many, Peder Mondrup, diagnosed with cerebral palsy, completed the Iron Man triathlon with the help of his twin brother. The duo is known as Team Tvilling (Team Twin in Danish). Peder and his brother Steen, ages 34, crossed the finish line at the August 2014 KMD Ironman Copenhagen Challenge, just under the time limit. After pulling Peder along in a rubber boat for the entire 3.8 km swim, Steen pedaled his brother along in a double bicycle for 180 km. Steen then pushed Peder in his racing wheelchair for 42.2 km and both finished the whole event in 15 hours, 42 minutes and 38 seconds. “It was a race against time. Particularly in the second round we were close to the cut-off, but we always believed. I don’t know where the energy came from, but the legs felt good today,” Steen said. This duo have competed in a variety of long distance competitions together, but it all started when Steen decided to run a half marathon with Peder in 2013. They have been Team Tvilling ever since.

KMD Ironman Copenhagen 2014

Photo Credits: Simon Skipper/Scanpix

“For the first time, I felt like the person I see myself as: a regular participant instead of ‘somebody in a wheelchair’,” Peder reported after their first race together. The twins were born 3 months premature in 1980, weighing about 2.6 pounds each. Suffering from a lack of oxygen during birth, Peder was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and has been confined to a wheelchair for his whole life. For years now, Peder has become an active spokesperson for many clubs and organizations that he is involved with, advocating for the disabled and raising awareness about his disability. Their mission, as stated on their website: “To spread our message, so that other disabled people will be able to participate in sports events on the same terms as we do.”

Photo Credits: Bax Lindhart/Scanpix

Photo Credits: Bax Lindhart/Scanpix

 

References:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/26/peder-and-steen-mondrup_n_5716299.html http://www.thelocal.dk/20140824/twins-run-toward-history-at-ironman-copenhagen http://elitedaily.com/news/world/man-does-iron-man-race-cerebral-palsy-brother/729275/

What other inspirational stories have you heard? Let us know in the comments section below! Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family! :)

Natan

About the author

Natan Gendelman has written 274 articles for Enabled Kids.

Natan Gendelman is licensed as a physical therapist in Russia and Israel. After moving to Canada, he was certified as a kinesiologist and osteopathy manual practitioner. Natan has more than 20 years of experience providing rehabilitation and treatment for conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, pediatric stroke and acquired brain injury. He is the founder and director of Health in Motion Rehabilitation, a Toronto-based clinic whose main objective is to teach their patients the independence necessary for success in their daily lives.

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