Sports are NOT about medals and winning. They are about so much more than that. Sport has the ability to positively transform individuals and societies- this is something that through my own observations and experiences I know to be true. Through individuals’ participation in sport, human beings develop character, mental health and confidence, physical health, and social skills. Observing athletes’ journeys, including their struggles, triumphs, and failures, also has the potential to inspire communities and stimulate positive social change. This is why sport is essential in our world. This is also why I believe, now more then ever, young people of all ages need the opportunities, encouragement, and support to participate in sport.
One unique thing about the sport of wrestling, and one reason it is the best sport in the world (okay- I may be a little biased), is that it is extremely inclusive. Girls and boys of all sizes, shapes, and skill are afforded the opportunity to participate, and thus, the chance to reap the benefits of sport.
With all of this being said- I will now get to the purpose of this post.
This morning I heard an AMAZING story. It is one that MUST be shared and celebrated. It is incredibly moving and clearly shows the inclusivity and beauty of the sport of wrestling, the power of sport, and most importantly, the power of kindness.
Just over a week ago, Mike Roselli, the Wrestling Coach at Vancouver College, sent the below email to one of the school’s Vice Principals. The story it tells will leave you inspired- enjoy!
Something happened at yesterday’s wrestling tournament in Burnaby that you need to know about. There is a young man that I see at every wrestling tournament that wrestles in the 90kg weight class and he has never won a match. This young man has Down syndrome.
It came time for Michael Do to wrestle this young man and he asked me for instructions on how to proceed. I told Michael to win the match but not wrestle to hard or fast and give the young man an opportunity to enjoy some time on the mat wrestling. After Micheal was up 8-0 he looked at me so serenely and smiled. He then proceeded to let this young man take him down 3 times for 8 points, time then expired with the match tied 8-8. Since this young man scored the last points, he won the match, his very first win, ever! When Michael walked off the mat and came over to me, he smiled and very quietly said “it was the right thing to do”. I had to take a moment to compose myself.
During this young man’s next match his opponent from another school, following Michael’s example, did the exact same thing. This young man had now won 2 straight matches and his very first medal, bronze.
This boy and his father had tears of joy and we, wrestlers and coaches from different schools, all hugged while the tournament stopped and people applauded.
It takes one small act of kindness to change the world and it was Michael Do, a young man from VC, who did something special for another person.
This is the true nature of sport and an example for all how to treat one another.
I hope you all enjoyed this story as much as I did.
To hear more about this story listen to https://omny.fm/shows/the-jon-mccomb-show/the-choices-we-make!
Happy Monday everyone! Go spread some love and kindness!