Participating in a competitive wrestling match was a dream for 13-year-old Jared Stevens. Stevens, who also has cerebral palsy, had the opportunity to compete in his first wrestling match recently against his more experienced peer Justin Kievit in front of his classmates in Nolensville, Tennessee.
In a spontaneous act of compassion, a YouTube video shows 13-year-old Kievit sparring with Stevens right before pulling Steven’s arm over his body, pinning himself to the mat. The video documenting the match has gained over 100,000 views on YouTube as of Tuesday night.
The pair hadn’t met until they shook hands on the mat, and so the spontaneity of the act demonstrated the authentic sportsmanship of the young athlete willing to lose a match so his opponent can have a winning moment — a feeling Stevens rarely can experience due to his condition. Though physically impaired, Stevens intellectual ability is normal and he understood the magnitude of Kievit’s actions.
“It felt good,” Stevens said after his match to Franklin Home Page.
Severe disabilities are often difficult to deal with, especially for young kids who have had limited contact with people suffering from disabilities. Kievit, however, showed no apprehension toward Stevens, which, for a 13-year-old, is in itself is a feat worth more than the match.
According to Steven’s father, Jared loves sports and so has tried all sorts of activities, such as zip lining, football and Boy Scouts.