5 minutes with the Brownlee brothers
Professional triathletes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee took gold and bronze respectively at the London 2012 Olympics, making them the first brothers to stand together on an Olympic podium since 1908. The 25 and 23-year-old have since gone on to win a whole host of major events between them and are due to take part in the Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow in July.
Here we learn more about the Yorkshire lads…
What’s your earliest memory?
J: I was stood in my cot at my parents’ house with wallpaper glue all over my hands. I was peeling the wallpaper off the wall and as soon as it was noticed, I immediately blamed Alistair.
A: I was in the back garden digging a gigantic hole to keep all of my toy cars in. We spent nearly all our spare time outside or playing sports.
What would your perfect day be?
J: It would be a cold winter’s morning and I would wake up at about 8am. First of all I would go for a run and then I would go skiing all day. The perfect end to the day would be finishing up in a hot tub with an almighty view.
A: Again, I would like it to be a cold morning with snow outside. I would choose to be at home and go for a long walk or run in the Dales, I would then go for a long pub lunch – sport would always be part of my perfect day.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
A: I have always wanted to be an athlete, but it was at 14 having watched the Sydney Olympic Games all summer that I decided I wanted to be a triathlete. I was so inspired – I made up my mind that I would try and pursue a career in sport. That’s why we have teamed up with Warburtons to launch The Half & Half-Term Games – it’s so important that we capitalise on the current climate of excitement ahead of the Commonwealth Games, to encourage kids to get active.
J: As soon as I saw Alistair walk into our house with his GB kit on – I knew I wanted to follow him into a career in sport.
What super power would you like?
J: The ultimate power has to be flying, it would make all the travelling we do so much easier – and give us more time on the track or our bikes!
A: Same, I would definitely choose to be able to fly. Travelling is by far the most tedious bit of our job.
What are you most proud of?
J: Winning my bronze medal – being able to compete in the Olympics in London was an amazing achievement and then to be able to go home with a medal was incredible. I am very excited for the Commonwealth Games – it will be a tremendously proud moment to be called up to be part of Team England for the first time and become involved in an event that has such a positive effect on families across the country.
A: I agree, winning gold at the London Olympics was a great moment – it was even better to be able to compete alongside my brother. It will be an exciting moment when Team GB is announced for the Common Wealth Games – it’s a great feeling to know the whole country is behind you.
What is your most treasured possession?
A: Definitely my gold medal, I keep it in my sock drawer… where else would you put it?
J: I would have to agree with Alistair. It has to be my medal.
What would you like to be stranded on a desert island with?
J: My running shoes! I think I would go crazy to be apart from my trainers for a long period of time!
A: A boat to get away… even if I couldn’t use it to escape, at least I would be able to go on fun adventures.
What benefits do you feel sport has brought you?
J: Discipline and confidence for sure, it has also brought so much structure to my life. With sport you just set a goal and you do everything to achieve it. It has also brought us freedom and we have been able to travel to and experience loads of countries from a young age.
A: It has also brought us a healthier and happier life, we were always so keen to get outside and get active, which ultimately makes you a healthier and stronger person.
J: Because I wasn’t good enough in football! But seriously it was because our mum loves swimming, dad runs and I loved being outside and active. We both have done triathlons since we were eight so it was a natural route for us. We also love to exercise outside as keeping fit and healthy isn’t about what you do, like going to a gym, it is about doing something you enjoy.
How can today’s busy families incorporate sport into their lifestyles?
J: We firmly believe that you don’t need to shell out for expensive sports equipment or memberships to get kids into being active – there’s loads loads you can do as a family that is fun, easy and accessible.
The Brownlee Brothers have teamed up with Warburtons to help encourage families to get active with their top family games inspired by The Commonwealth Games. Visit facebook.com/warburtons for daily Warburtons Half & Half-Term Games inspiration