Are you ready to get choked up over your morning coffee?
In a display of grace and compassion befitting someone much older, a middle schooler from Tennessee took part in a wrestling match against a boy with cerebral palsy – and let him win.
The video below, which has since gone viral on Facebook, shows Jared Stevens taking part in his first ever wrestling match. 13-year-old Stevens has cerebral palsy and has the physical capacity of a 6-month-old, although his intellectual ability is close to his age level.
Clay Mayes, Jared’s wrestling coach, said he practices with his school’s wrestling team every day.
“Jared just likes to do stuff like everybody else,” Stevens’ 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.”
So when he expressed in interest in taking part in a match, his coach called his friend Randy Steven, a coach at another middle school.
“It wasn’t about weight class,” Mayes told the Tennessean. “I told him to point me toward the kid who has the kindest heart.”
That kid was Justin Kievit.
On the day of the exhibition match, the 12-year-old bent to shake Jared’s hand before the whistle blew. He then scooted next to Jared, pulled the boy’s arm over him, and pinned himself.
“It’s what – a minute, minute and a half maybe?” says Jared’s dad, Phil Stevens. “But it’s the echoes of it that make the difference.”
Watch the footage of their inspiring match below: