Boy Gives Trophy to Sick Rival in Touching Show of Sportsmanship

Awww! 2

swim trophies

Don't you just love it when a child takes it upon himself to do something unselfish and kind without having to be prompted? Then just wait until you hear about Josh Zuchowski, a 9-year-old boy who won a swimming trophy and gave it to his biggest rival -- who happened to be in the hospital at the time of the swim meet.

When Josh didn't see 10-year-old Reese Branzell's name entered on the competition sheet, he learned the boy had been suffering from a bacterial infection in his hip. And Josh felt so horrible about Reese not being able to swim that he decided if he won the "high point trophy" in the competition -- it would mean more to him if Reese was the one who had it.

And when he did wind up with that trophy? Well ... I think the card he wrote to Reese along with it pretty much speaks for itself.

The card reads:

I am so sorry that you have not been feeling well. Get well soon. So we can get back to battling in the pool. I have looked up to you since I was seven. You were an inspiration for me wanting to swim fast. I would rather get second with you at the meet [than] win with you absent. I won this trophy for you today. I hope to see [you] back in the pool. Your friend, Josh.

Pass the tissues, please. What a wonderful boy he is! Again -- he was not put up to do this by his parents or anyone else. Josh simply knew in his heart that he wanted to do something special to honor his friend, so he went with his gut and turned that trophy over.

Oh, and it's not like he was looking for praise for his amazing gesture either. He told TODAY, "I can’t believe I’m getting all this attention for doing the right thing."

OMG. Can we all learn a lesson in good sportsmanship from this kid or what? It's so easy to get caught up in the competition sometimes that we place more emphasis on winning than anything else. But Josh is such a great reminder to both adults and kids that being a team player, even when you're technically up against someone, is way more important than taking home a trophy, prize, or whatever.

I plan on sharing this story with my son for sure -- but it's something I plan on taking to heart as well. A little friendly competition can be a good thing. But being a true friend is a million times better.

Do you think your child would do something selfless like this?

 

Image via terren in Virginia/Flickr

boys, sports, inspiring kids

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nonmember avatar Saoirse

This is a great story! My oldest swam competitively from age 6 to 18 and was very close to his swim mates. He would throw a race at times to let one of his peers win. He was very gracious. He knew he had the race, as well as the other swimmer, but sometimes you have to boost your fellow swimmer's confidence a bit. Used to drive me crazy...

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