Today Article
Courtesy of: Today.com
LAKE LYTLE, Florida, December 18. IT's been just 10 days since he made an unselfish move to help a rival swimmer, but after Today.com picked up his story, Florida swimmer Josh Zuchowski, 9, has become an inspiration to the swimming community.

Zuchowski recently competed at the Santa Claus Invitational, and noticed that his 10-year-old rival Reese Branzell wasn't at the meet for the second straight meet. Zuchowski found out that Branzell had been in the hospital with a bacterial infection in his hip for two weeks and could not compete.

Without Branzell to compete against, Zuchowski went on to win five gold medals and easily win the high point trophy award. After receiving the trophy, Zuchowski went on to give the award to Branzell's coach along with a card saying that he won the award for him.


"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 then win with you absent. I won this trophy for you today. I hope to see (you) back in the pool. Your friend, Josh.''

Today.com went on to explain how Zuchowski and Branzell have been swimming against each other for three years, with the two typically trading wins. The gesture has certainly helped focus Branzell on getting better so he can get back into the pool and keep challenging Zuchowski in future swims.

The story certainly has tugged on the heart strings of the swimming community with Olympic star Missy Franklin, one of the kindest people found on any deck, even tweeting it out to her more than 350,000 followers.




Franklin's fellow Berkeley-based swimmer Nathan Adrian also chimed in, retweeting the original story to his followers as well.

Today article.