This is What Real Sportsmanship Looks Like
by Caitlin O'Connell
Jared Stevens, a teenager from Brentwood, Tennessee with severe cerebral palsy, realized his wrestling dream when his big-hearted opponent, 12-year-old Justin Kievit, guided Stevens towards pinning him on the mat.
Despite being confined to a wheelchair, Jared is admired around Brentwood for his tireless dedication to sports; he has participated in three football games, playing in his wheelchair, and helps coach his school’s basketball team. Wrestling is Stevens’ athletic endeavor, and he had his first opportunity to participate in an exhibition match this week against a rival school. Justin’s coaches paired the 7th grader with Jared not for his wresting skills (Justin is team captain), but for his kindness.
Randi Stevens, one of Jared’s wrestling coaches (no relation), recorded a video of the match on his cell phone and posted it to YouTube for family and friends to see, and it has since gone viral with over 350,000 views. The video shows Jared getting down on the mat, and Justin pulling his arm over his own body for the pin, giving Jared the win. It’s a must-watch; Jared’s big smile is as heartwarming as it is contagious.