Man with cerebral palsy completes triathlon thanks to racing partner

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Sunday, May 21, 2023
Man with cerebral palsy completes triathlon thanks to racing partner
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22-year-old Gabe Anderson teams up with 60-year-old Cameron Smith to swim, bike, and run across the finish line!

FORT WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "If you look at triathletes, you might think that they have to look a certain way," said Cameron Smith. "It's not true."

The 60-year-old racer does not swim, bike, or run alone. He has the extraordinary honor of competing alongside 22-year-old Gabe Anderson, who has cerebral palsy.

Smith and Anderson met at an event for Ainsley's Angels of America, which promotes inclusion by helping individuals with disabilities participate in activities like walks and runs.

"I love the idea of being able to help somebody else to do something that they might not be able to do," said Smith.

They started off small by participating in runs, but they became too easy for the dynamic duo. So, in 2017, they participated in the Upper Dublin Triathlon.

Today marked their sixth time participating in the event, which is located at Smith's alma mater, Upper Dublin High School.

Anderson sits in a raft while Smith swims back and forth to complete the first leg of the race. Then, they shift to an Ainsley's Angels race chair to complete the biking and running portions.

It's a thrill for Anderson's parents, Jeremy and Kari, to watch their son cross the finish line. Especially considering he was only born at 29 weeks and spent three months in the NICU.

"The doctors didn't think he would live very long. I think they said maybe three days," said Kari. "But Gabe is 22 and he'll be 23 in June. So, we feel like we're doing a really good job with that part."

In the future, Anderson and Smith plan to continue running more races. It's just a portion of what the latter has done in his life to give back.

That list includes donating a kidney to his nephew, making frequent blood donations, doing mission work in Haiti, and serving as a volunteer firefighter.

"I just enjoy doing things, helping people," he said.

To learn more about Ainsley's Angels or the Upper Dublin Triathlon, visit their websites.

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