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Friday, May 2, 2014

Inspirational Profiles: The Bilodeau Brothers

  In February of 2010, the world was introduced to the Bilodeau brothers: Alex, a world-class moguls skier, and Frederik, an outgoing soul who battles cerebral palsy. The Winter Olympics in Vancouver gave an international audience the opportunity to witness the power of love as evidenced in the lives of these two Canadian young men. News sources ran pieces about the bond between these siblings, and those that heard their story were deeply touched. It is a wonderful story of love and unselfishness...

  Heading into his Olympic competition, Alex declared that he was going to race for Frederik, who would be cheering at the bottom of the ski course. Frederik yelled his heart out for his brother as Alex went on to win the gold medal. A tear-jerking moment ensued when Alex ran to find his family and embraced Frederik in a huge hug. The skier would later hear his national anthem as he stood at the top of the medal podium.
  Four years later, Alex once again earned the honor of representing Canada at the Olympics, this time in Sochi, Russia. But a lot had changed since the last Winter games. Not only had Alex become a superstar in his native Quebec, but Frederik had gained a fan base, as well. The media again profiled the story of Alex and Frederik, this time updating viewers about Frederik's newly-discovered talent for painting as well as Alex's renewed desire to go for one more Olympic victory - for Frederik.
  Once again, Alex took to the slopes and performed amazingly. The gold was his for a second time. Just as before, he went searching for his family and wrapped his beloved Frederik in a hug. This time, however, knowing it was his final Olympic run, he wanted Frederik to share the feeling of victory. After all, he said, Frederik used to ski until his cerebral palsy made it impossible for him to do so. With this is mind, he hoisted Frederik over the barrier into the athlete's area and had him take his spot next to him on the podium for the flower ceremony. With a smile big enough to drive a truck through, Frederik stood tall and waved the Canadian flag. It was an emotional and fitting end to a truly special Olympic journey.

  I am glad that I had the pleasure of watching this story unfold over the course of two Olympic games. Alex and Frederik are inspirational for the example they give to all of  us of what love and unselfishness can do. As a saying I read recently says, "When we love and are loved, every day is a celebration."