Jared Lamb; A Special Boy With A Very Special StoryPosted: Updated:
Tioga, N.Y. - On Saturday December 8, 16 year old Jared Lamb won his very first Varsity wrestling meet, but the story behind the win, is what's truly inspiring. Jared was born with autism, but he and his family have never allowed it to stop him from working hard and living the life he desires.
Special Olympics has been apart of Jared's life for quite some time now, while Varsity wrestling came into his life just a few years ago. But, it was this year that really made all the difference.
"I pinned the kid in Elmira" said Jared.
A moment the Lamb family, as well as friends, coaches and teammates will never forget. Jared's mother Julie took a video of the entire match while friends, coaches, and teammates watched Jared in admiration. Cheers, happy tears and smiles were felt throughout the entire gym.
"It was really huge. I've watched him grow over the years and he's worked hard for everything and definitely deserved the moment" said Jared's older brother, Austin.
"He came up to me and said, aren't you so stinkin proud of me? I said I am, because that's what I always tell him, I'm so stinkin proud of you" Jared's mother, Julie said.
As proud as Julie was, she of course wasn't the only person who was proud. Jared's big brother, biggest supporter and protector, Austin, who also wrestles, watched from a far with a beaming light of pride and admiration.
"He's definitely an inspiration. He works so hard, regardless of his disability and doesn't want to be treated any different than any normal person."
Another inspiration, the special bond and relationship Austin and Jared share.
“He encourages him a lot & helps him, if he does something wrong, he'll show him what to do" said teammate, John Worthing."
"He played football because he wanted to be with Austin and he wrestles because he wants to be on the same team as Austin" said wrestling head coach Kris Harrington.
But, during the day Jared and Austin walk completely different school halls, while Austin is at Tioga high school, Jared learns at the Oak Tree Program in Boces in Johnson City. But, by the end of the day, Jared and his teammates all come together, as one.
"I think that's what makes this so great, because if he's not working, he gets yelled at and when he works hard he gets praised. There's no difference between him and anyone else" said Harrington.
"I have an expectation for him to go out & win when he wrestles, I know he can, hes capable & knows what he's supposed to do. It was cool too see him go out and do it" said Tioga's assistant wrestling coach, Ryan MacWhinnie.
But, just like any mother, they worry and for Julie Lamb, well knowing that her son is surrounded by coaches and teammates who view him as an inspiration, instead of different, has made all the difference, for Jared.
"That's helped in so many ways. I Never wanted anyone to treat him different. He's to do everything everyone else does, don't go easy on him. Treat him like everyone else" sad Julie.
"Those boys, they really took that, they don't treat him special, they love to pick on him, teach him things, but they have so much fun with him. They really enjoy him and that's what its all about."
In July 2018, Jared competed in the USA Special Olympics games in Seattle and was then selected to be on team USA for the International Special Olympics. Jared will be going to Abu Dhabi, to compete in March.