“After Brian lost his eyesight,” the caption reads: “The McKeever brothers went on to win 10 Paralympic medals. Together.” Though the ad manages to give a decent outline of the pro athletes’ origin story, there’s much more to it than we see in Toyota’s touching Super Bowl spot.
As USA Today reports, when Brian McKeever was diagnosed at 19, both he and his older brother, Robin McKeever, had promising Olympic careers. Though McKeever revealed to the outlet that his “knee-jerk reaction” was to assume his ski career would be over before it ever began, he soon discovered he’d underestimated his own adaptability. He began focusing on a Paralympic career and, despite achieving success on his own, received some advice early on that would change his approach to the sport — and his brother’s. The outlet explains how, at one point, a team of Germans who defeated McKeever suggested he team up with a guide. After Robin’s Olympic career hit a roadblock when he failed to qualify for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, he took on the role of guiding his younger brother.
Although the pair had to cope with the various trials and tribulations that accompany working so closely with a sibling, they remain a team to this day. As Yahoo reports, Brian hopes his journey “inspires viewers to start their impossible” and says he’s “learned firsthand that anything is possible with perseverance and the support of a brother.”