Great Britain's Brownlee brothers may have won a gold and silver one-two in the Olympic triathlon in Rio.

But it was their younger sibling Edward who won the hearts of Brits on social media as they rallied around him following yesterday's family success.

Twitter users rushed online after the historic win by Alistair, 28 - closely followed by middle son Jonny, 26 - to express their condolences to the forgotten brother.

Edward Brownlee, younger sibling of Alistair and Jonny, has become a cult hero. Photo / Supplied
Edward Brownlee, younger sibling of Alistair and Jonny, has become a cult hero. Photo / Supplied
Britain's Alistair Brownlee, left, and Jonathan Brownlee. Photo / AP
Britain's Alistair Brownlee, left, and Jonathan Brownlee. Photo / AP

Unfortunately for Great Britain, dreams of a one-two-three in triathlon are unlucky to ever be realised, as the third Brownlee never took to the sport.

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Edward, who says he prefers rugby, even pokes fun at his siblings in typical brotherly fashion, describing the endurance sport as one "for soft people".

He added: "I did some triathlon locally when I was little but I didn't want to be the same. I'd always be known as the younger one that hasn't been as good."

The older brothers certainly have forged a reputation as two of the best triathletes in the world, both achieving success in the Olympics and World Championships.

Shortly after his history-making win, in which he became the first man to defend an Olympic triathlon title, Alistair received a heart-warming letter from his Australian former lover.

Britain's dynamic duo celebrate their win. Photo / AP
Britain's dynamic duo celebrate their win. Photo / AP

Posting an image of the two brothers crossing the line on Copacabana Beach, Flick Abram, herself a triathlete, swooned about her ex-boyfriend's achievements.

She wrote: "If I had a dollar for everyone who asked me the last 4 yrs 'do you think @alistair.brownlee can get the gold again?' I'd sure have a small fortune!

"But not to one person did I reply even Maybe. Never ever did I doubt Al would win his second Gold even with the incredible setbacks he's had.

"The strongest, determined person I've ever known. Congratulations Brothers."

Flick was dating Alistair as of about two years ago, but the pair obviously remain close following their break up.

The 30-year-old's Instagram and Twitter accounts feature several photos of her with the Yorkshireman, enjoying birthdays together and dinners out.