Bailey Matthews, an 8-year-old with cerebral palsy competing in a triathlon, had already earned the crowd's cheers as he neared the finish line. Then he cast aside his walker.
In a emotional final stretch of the Castle Howard Triathlon in England, the little boy smiled as he pushed himself forward, let go of his walker and stumbled across the finish line. The announcer gave a running commentary as hundreds of spectators cheered on Bailey.
"He shows us all up, ladies and gentlemen," the announcer said. "He shows us what is possible when you get together, and you've got heart, and you've got soul, and you've got determination. And you're gonna make it to the finish line, Bailey Matthews."
It was the first ever triathlon for the Doncaster boy, according to the event's Facebook page. He had completed a 100-meter lake swim, a 4,000-meter bike ride and nearly finished a 1,300-meter run. His condition impairs his motor function, so he had some help along the route. The last 20 meters, though, he did all by himself.
His mom, Julie Hardcastle, told The Yorkshire Post that the crowd's support made all the difference.
"You can see his little face when he came round and saw everyone, that was his way of finishing in style and showing everyone what he could do," she said. "It was the response from the crowd that pushed him to do that."