Updated: September 2, 2021 3:45:43 pm
USA’s Sam Grewe clinched gold in the men’s high jump T63 category at the ongoing the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, four years after narrowly missing it at the Rio Games. But, even before his win, a sweet gesture by a kind stranger made him feel like a winner.
Before he set out to give his best on the track, a Games organiser handed him a letter. In it, the sender thanked him for giving his family “great courage” after his son underwent the same surgery that changed Grewe’s life. The letter was written by Masaki Kando, father of a 13-year-old boy Haruki, who suffered from osteosarcoma on his right knee at the age of 10 and had surgery on “Rotation plasty” just like the 23-year-old American athlete.
“My son is watching on TV today,” wrote Kando. “We are all supporting you”.
Grewe, who had closely lost gold to India’s Mariyappan Thangavelu at the 2016 Rio Games, got sweet revenge this year. While he finished on top in 1.88m, Thangavelu settled for silver with 1.86m.
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) September 1, 2021
“Even though I knew the details of the rotation plastys surgery, I was very anxious because there was misinformation about its after function in Japan,” Kando said in the letter. He added that finding out about Grewe’s surgery gave them much needed courage and assurance.
Moved by the unexpected gesture, Grew posted the letter on Twitter. “Win or lose, this is what it’s all about. This makes it all worth it,” he wrote while sharing it.
A local Japanese man just handed me this note shortly after I arrived at the track to compete. Win or lose, this is what it’s all about. This makes it all worth it. pic.twitter.com/tOk4LNrE39
— Sam Grewe (@samgrewe) August 31, 2021
The letter not only moved the athlete but also several people on social media. Many, while congratulating Grewe, who is training to be a doctor, said the victories are inspiration for little children fighting the same odds. Others also lauded the Japanese man for his thoughtful letter.
😭 I was moved to tears❤️ https://t.co/rFXlhCoGoJ
— 風雅なおと(NAOTO FUGA)SINGER✩青廃✩猫、格闘家、植物、エアロビ好き (@fuganaoto) September 2, 2021
This is so sweet! Sometimes we just need to believe that something extraordinary is possible. It’s so powerful when you see other people achieve their dreams 💪💗✨ https://t.co/OzpI0Nr3Eg
— ♔ ♚ Adri ☆彡 (@aoko__1412) September 1, 2021
No, you’re crying!
— Adam Harvey-Sullivan (@DrAdamHS) September 1, 2021
— Anji (@TheAnjiTurner) September 1, 2021
This is so lovely to read ! Tears in my eyes. Sports beings people together. ❤️❤️❤️ https://t.co/SvjSObJGnr
— Sudhir Bharadhwaj (@sudhirbharadwaj) September 1, 2021
Love these types of stories. Best parts of humanity. https://t.co/NkPLc3powU
— Növa🏒🌟 (@canuckofns) September 1, 2021
Don’t give up, no matter what happens to you https://t.co/dwsorPWQ3Z
— Daniel Wu (@whydanny_) September 1, 2021
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