ESPN’s Sportscenter recently profiled 23-year-old, ATT fighter Garrett “G-Money” Holeve as he prepared for his first amateur fight.
Holeve, 5', 135 lbs., is a dedicated student, with a positive demeanor, by all accounts a great man to have in the gym. Given the dozens of top pros that fight out of ATT, his preparations would not be remarkable on a national scale, except that Holeve has Down syndrom.
Approximately one in 700 babies born in the US each year has Down syndrome, making it the most common chromosome abnormality in humans. Most children with Down syndrome have mild to moderate impairments in physical growth, and mild to mild to moderate intellectual impairment.
Everyone who steps into the cage has to overcome a lot - fear and doubt, the rigors of training, and more. In Garret's case, a lot more.
Garrett's fight is not without controversy.
“I’ve had family members that just said to me that I’m crazy," said his father. "They’ve lost respect for me as a parent from the fact that I’m allowing this to happen. You're putting your son in jeopary, how can you do that?"
But Garret is a hero.
Stephan Bonnar explains how he got there.
"He didn't like being the kid with Down Syndrome, the kid people felt sorry for," says Bonnar. "Through martial arts he found himself. He found a passion and a purpose in his life."
A Garrett says, "fighting changed me." Among the changes was Garrett accepting that he did in fact have Down Syndrome, something he resisted so much that as a child, he didn't want to be known as Garrett, "because Garrett has Down Syndrome."
At the end, the piece shows Garrett paying it forward, teaching a student who himself has Down Syndrome.
“Them look up to me as a hero, or as a super man,” said Garrett. “Because them need a super hero.”
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