I usually have mixed feelings about things like this when it involves otherwise able-bodied kids and adults. What lesson are we teaching them? Is this really preparing them for the realities of life?
This is different. Life has dealt this young man an unlucky hand. He has the physical capacity of a 6-month-old. There are no lessons to be learned here. He has no illusions about his "physical prowess". He only wants to fit in...to do, to try to do, the things any boy his age wants to do. This is just a beautiful moment for a boy with the heart of a lion. A boy who, in my opinion, deserves a lot of beautiful moments. Nobody is asking the other wrestlers to throw the match. I wouldn't look down on any of those kids if they went out there and pinned him in 3 seconds and walked away. I don't think Jared Stevens or his father would either. Jared just wants to participate. He just wants to belong. Winning or losing is just an afterthought. That kid is a winner every second of his life. ~Juujigun
Justin Kievit, a middle-school wrestler from Tennessee, showed off his sportsmanship when he matched up against Jared Stevens, who has cerebral palsy.
The match begins with Stevens being gently laid down on the wrestling mat by a coach. Once the match begins, Kievit maneuvers around Stevens in a low crouch. Kievit then gets down on the mat and slides underneath Stevens so Stevens can pin him. The crowd went wild for Stevens' win and Kievit's heart.
According to Kievit's father, the act wasn't planned. The proud dad remarked to Franklin Home Page: "The first time he met Jared was when he shook hands with him before the match. So it really was spontaneous. They just picked this kid. If you watch the video, he just did an amazing job. There's not many adults comfortable putting hands on a disabled kid, much less another 13-year-old."
This was Jared's first wresting match. "I think a lot of people are scared to put kids like me on the mat, but they don't need to be," Jared told his local paper. Jared's father explained that while his son has roughly the physical capacity of a six-month-old, he is close to his age level intellectually.
"Jared just likes to do stuff like everybody else," his father told the Franklin Home Page. "There's a limit to what he can do, but something like wrestling, he can do that as much as he can do. He just enjoys being out there participating. He doesn't mind trying anything."
Tags: wrestling, wrestler, cerebral palsy, jared stevens, justin kievit, heart of a lion
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee, United States (load item map)
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