High school wrestler Malik Stewart may have lost in the final seconds of his state title match against Mitchell McKee, but he won over McKee and the crowd with what he did next.
Stewart, from Blaine High School in North Dakota, got up from the mat and hugged his opponent, and then walked over to his opponent’s cancer-stricken father and gave him a hug, too.
“He won,” Stewart told the Associated Press about McKee. ”He was pretty proud, and his dad was pretty proud. So I went over there and I shook his hand, embraced him a little bit, and told him to stay strong and everybody loves him.”
“I got a little teary because I lost the match, and I knew the hard times he was going through,” Stewart added. “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.”
McKee then hugged his father, too, causing the crowd to stand and erupt into applause.
McKee, who won the title for St. Michael Albertville High School, said that Stewart’s action was “really respectful.”