A newly-released video by the Special Olympics is causing the entire Internet to tear up. And with good reason.
It opens with the birth of two twin brothers — both alike in practically every way, as twins so often tend to be. “The only difference between them,” the video tells us, “is 4.36 seconds.”
We watch them both meet their parents for the first time; both struggle to crawl; both scuttle off to school in the morning. We watch them grow up, in nearly identical ways, and soon catch glimpses of them training for a sporting event. But in the last few frames of the one-minute clip, it is revealed that there’s just one small difference that sets them apart: one brother has Down syndrome, while the other does not. And the sporting event that one brother is training for — the sporting event that we eventually see him win — is the Special Olympics.
And man, does it make your heart explode with love and pride to watch him cross the finish line.
The moving video was released on Facebook Monday in honor of #NationalSiblingsDay, where it’s since been shared over 59.6k times. It’s clear by the comments that it’s struck a chord with viewers everywhere, as it demonstrates not just the importance of perseverance and brotherly love, but also that a diagnosis like Down syndrome does not define a person. Rather, character and love do.
If I’m being honest, the comments are almost more difficult to get through without crying than the video is. Many of the commenters shared personal stories and family photos, and even tagged friends and family to watch the video.
“Life is very hard sometimes, but when a child with [Down syndrome] or any other disability comes along with that fab smile and huge heart everything else falls into perspective,” wrote one user.
“My twin brother AJ suffers from low functioning autism,” wrote another user. “We’re both 24 and only a few minutes apart (he pushed me out since I was only 3 pounds #premielife). I can’t believe a story like mine has been told on such a national scale! Love you Special Olympics! I’m seriously crying :’)”
“I was trying to make it through this video without crying,” added another. “I failed miserably. Thank you for this!”
National Sibling’s Day, which occurs every year on April 10, was first created in 1995 by Claudia Evart in an effort to honor two of her siblings who died in separate accidents. Since then, the national holiday has generated a lot of social media attention and press coverage, and has even inspired a White House petition to make Sibling’s Day a nationally observed holiday in the same vein as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
But Sibling’s Day or not, every day is an opportunity to show gratitude for the people you love the most — especially family. As a mother to two small sons, it fills my heart with pride when I see them hugging or being kind to each other. They may not be winning sprints or hearing the adoration of crowds, as the boys in this video do, but they are learning the profound and lifelong important lesson that brothers (and sisters) are forever.More On