Any way you look at it, seventh-graders Justin Kievit and Jared Stevens are both total winners. The two boys met in what just may be the most inspiring wrestling match ever caught on tape.
Jared has cerebral palsy, and though he only has the physical capabilities of an infant, his strong spirit led him to pursue his passion for wrestling. According to Jared's wrestling coach Clay Mayes, the 12-year-old practices with the team like any other athlete. When Jared wanted to actually compete in a match, Mayes knew he had to find a special opponent. Mayes consulted a friend, who was a wrestling coach at a different school.
“It wasn’t about weight class,” Mayes said. “I told him to point me toward the kid who has the kindest heart.”
Wrestler Justin Kievit had never even met Jared before they shook hands on the mat, but what followed was a heartwarming display of sportsmanship: Gently, yet convincingly, Justin thrust himself underneath Jared and pulled Jared's arm up and over his own body, effectively giving Jared the win.
Justin's father was so touched by his son's actions that he posted the video on Facebook. "True class and sportsmanship even at 12 years old," Craig Kievit wrote. "Middle School wrestling and genuine act of being a decent young man..."
The video got thousands of shares, and comments praising both boys. Jared's father says though his son may face challenges, he is adventurous and is always up for something new.
"There's a limit to what he can do," his father said. "But something like wrestling, he can do that as much as he can do. He just enjoys being out there participating.