The sport of wrestling teaches mental toughness, physical strength, and adaptability. Four college wrestlers from Northwest College in Wyoming used all these skills to save the life of a teammate who was attacked by a bear.
What started as a typical day collecting antlers near Cody, Wyoming, ended in disaster when a grizzly bear attacked one of the wrestlers, Brady Lowery. Lowery rolled into a ball to mitigate the damage. His teammate, Kendell Cummings, saw that Lowery needed help and jumped into action, hitting the bear and pulling its fur to draw the 800 lb beast away from his friend.
“I didn’t want to lose my friend. It was bad. There was big ol’ bear on top of him. I could have run and potentially lost a friend or get him off and save him,” Cummings told reporters.
The bear then set its sights on Cummings, attacking his head and arms. Lowery, who had suffered a broken arm and puncture wounds during the attack, got up, and ran to find cell phone reception. He found the other two teammates who were in another area and they called 911.
They then rushed to find Cummings, who had been attacked by the bear a second time. Cummings was found alone and injured but responsive, and the group began the six-mile trek off the mountain to meet the first responders. Throughout their journey, Cummings alternated between being carried by his teammates and walking.
Once down the mountain, Cummings and Lowery were taken to the hospital.
A Special Bond
By the time the pair reached the hospital, the Northwest College Wrestling team was already en route, knowing that it would take time for Cummings and Lowery’s parents to arrive. Thankfully they are both expected to survive.
While Lowery considers Kendell Cummings a hero for saving his life, he points to the bond that they all share as the reason for their survival.
I don’t think anyone else lesser than a wrestling team with a bond as we have – they wouldn’t have handled it as well as we did,” he told reporters.
This story truly shows the family bonds that are formed on a team. Sports teams are great because they promote mental and physical toughness and training, but there is so much more. Teams provide a feeling of oneness with something bigger. A feeling of belonging. This is what has helped to make these members of the Northwest College wrestling team Greater Than the game.