Sometimes You Lose But Still Win
Sportsmanship. My dad preached it to me. Actually, he did more than preach it, he insisted upon it. Showing respect to your opponent, before and after the contest, shaking hands, keeping your mouth shut except to offer encouragement or congratulations were things that in turn, I preached about and demanded from my own children.
As we have seen far too often, some just don't or won't get it. Trash talking, excuse making, and the humiliation of fallen opponents is the norm. We recently got to see an ugly display of it leading up to the Super Bowl.
That's why the story of Malik Stewart, a high school wrestler from Minnesota is so cool. His actions after being defeated on the mat, shows there was definitely more than one winner at that match.
The Postgame.com has the details:
A high school wrestler's amazing gesture after a loss in the state championship match brought tears to the eyes of many spectators, and it's not hard to see why.
After falling to Mitchell McKee in Minnesota's 120-pound class, Malik Stewart went over and embraced McKee's father, Steve, who is battling terminal cancer.
"I got a little teary because I lost the match, and I knew the hard times he was going through," Stewart told KARE 11. "The crowd went wild and I heard a couple people say after I did it -- that was pretty classy -- but I just did it straight from the heart."
It turns out, Malik was thinking about his own dad as well.
Stewart can relate to what Mitchell McKee is going through. Stewart's father suffered a heart attack and died when Stewart was 7.
"It was a big match for him and to be able to hug my dad like that and not be mad and storm off like a lot of kids do," McKee said. "Really respectful."
We see a lot of stories involving teenagers, but the word "respectful" is, unfortunately not often used.
Malik Stewart is a very special young man. Check out the rest of the story along with some really cool photos and video here.