Jared Stevens, a 13-year-old from Tennessee, suffers from cerebral palsy, but that hasn't stopped him from joining the Sunset Middle School wrestling team. Stevens, who has the physical capabilities of a young infant, regularly participates in practices with his fellow teammates. Recently, however, he told his coach Clay Mayes that he wanted to participate in a real match, and so Mayes called the leaders of an opposing team and asked them to find "the kid who has the kindest heart" to compete against Stevens. Immediately, young Justin Kievit was nominated, and a video of the resulting match has been shared on Facebook more than 100,000 times. In the clip, Kievit shakes hands with Stevens, who is lying almost motionless on the mat below. Then the referee blows the whistle, and Kievit hits the ground, pulling Stevens' arm over his own body to mimic a traditional pin. Kievit feigns struggle until the referee calls the match, naming Stevens the winner.
For anyone who might question the safety of the stunt, Stevens reassures them, saying, "a lot of people are scared to put kids like me on the mat, but they don't need to be." And although the match is obviously contrived, the willingness of all parties to fulfill Stevens' dream is still being hailed as "inspiring." "Even your Grinch heart will grow three sizes," says Rick Chandler at NBC Sports.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- This is how the U.S. thinks China could invade Taiwan
- Can we lead spiritually fulfilling lives without religion?
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- Obama knows he can't really 'defeat' ISIS. Americans need to wake up to that reality, too.
- What political elites don't understand about Scotland's push for independence
Subscribe to the Week