Chloe and Claire Gruenke's Race Is One of the Best Sporting Moments of Year

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Chloe and Claire Gruenke's Race Is One of the Best Sporting Moments of Year
USA TODAY Sports

If you haven't been inspired recently, perhaps Chloe and Claire Gruenke will solve that for you.

The two are 13-year-old twins who both run track for West-Clin Middle School in Illinois, and both were competing in the 800-meter race in a Southern Illinois State track meet. But on the second lap, Chloe was injured and it appeared here race was over.

What happened next was one of the truly great moments in sports this year, as recounted by the sisters and Shawndrea Thomas of KTVI:

'I felt something pull and pop in my thigh and then around the second lap it hurt, and I couldn't go anymore, and I fell to the ground,' said Chloe.

Then something really cool happened. Claire put her sister on her back and they finished the race together.

Claire carried Chloe for 370 of the 400 meters left in the race. She says what she did for her twin means more than just winning.

'It's about showing compassion, love and sportsmanship, even if you lose and help somebody it's still worth it. The energy from the crowd made me stronger. They were saying I can't believe you just did that,' Claire explained.

How is that for perspective? 

SportsCenter passed along the image of the pair on the track on Twitter:

So cool. So very, very cool. If this isn't up for an ESPY, well, it would be pretty shocking. This is the type of moment that conjures up the image of Jack Hoffman with the Nebraska football team.

Or Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace carrying Sara Tucholsky around the bases. 

Or Jason McElwain, an autistic high school basketball player, dropping 20 points in four minutes. 

Former college basketball coach Jim Valvano once said, "If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special." If the above videos didn't take care of your crying allotment for the day, I'm not sure what will.

It's also worth noting that all of those moments won the ESPY for "Best Moment." We'll probably see Chloe and Claire Gruenke in the running as well, and justifiably so. 

It's nice, for a moment, to ignore the Donald Sterlings of the world, or the stories about people like Aaron Hernandez or Darren Sharper. Heck, it's even nice every now and again to see sportsmanship trump competition. 

It's nice to focus on Kevin Durant's MVP speech, or Michael Sam making history as the first openly gay man to be drafted in the NFL after the St. Louis Rams selected him in the seventh round. It's nice to be reminded that sports is about more than coaches being fired, players signing fat contracts and fans booing or trolling athletes on Twitter. 

It's nice to be reminded that sports are about more than winning, too. They're about teamwork, community, coming together to achieve a common goal. And sometimes, it's about a twin helping her sister out, at the expense of her own race, so that both, and not just one, can cross the finish line. 

That's a moment worth remembering. That's a moment worth talking about. That's worth your one cry of the day, if you ask me.

 

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