Claire Gruenke and her sister Chloe, both 13-years-old, were both competing at the Southern Illinois State track meet and running the 800. However, Claire noticed something wrong with Chloe.
“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
The twins’ parents, Doug and Georgia Gruenke, said we can all learn from what happened.
‘It was pretty neat. Everyone in the crowd was standing up giving a standing ovation,” said Doug Gruenke. “I just wanted both of them to make it through,” said Georgia.
Coaches Ted Crail and Coree Woltering are also proud of the twins and their team spirit.
“We just watched breathlessly and luckily had glasses on because we all had tears in our eyes,” said Crail.
“I have to admit it was pretty emotional,” said Woltering.
Chloe and Claire may have come in last in the 800 meter race, but the duo clearly won the hearts of everyone who watched a special moment play out between two loving sisters on the field.
It’s a beautiful story between two sisters.