Skip to main content

10th-grade wrestler: Opponent with Down syndrome 'deserves to win'

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Like other athletes, Ryleigh Bure of Albert Lea wants to win. But when he learned his opponent in an exhibition last weekend was a wrestler with Down syndrome who had never won a match, Ryleigh came up with a new plan.

The 10th grader tells KAAL: "Everyone deserves to win. I know what it feels like and he hasn't had a win yet, so I thought he deserved to feel what it felt like to win."

Without revealing his plan, Ryleigh made sure his mother was videotaping the match. And he tells the station that he tried to make his opponent, whose name is Kyle, work for the victory.

As the match unfolded and Kyle was holding his own, the competition drew attention from more of the spectators at the busy tournament in St. Cloud. KAAL spoke with Danielle Bure, who said of her son: "He was smiling at Kyle and was kind of like 'C'mon, let's do this.' I even had to start rooting for Kyle."

Ryleigh finished second in that match but left the mat feeling like a winner, he tells the station.

Something similar occurred last year during a high school wrestling tournament in Georgia. In that case, the student with Down syndrome was considered a member of the team but had never actually wrestled a match until the exhibition during the tournament, according to KSDK-TV.

Athletes with Down syndrome have found success in sports including weightlifting. Last summer the News Journal profiled a 31-year-old powerlifting champion from Newark, Delaware, who won Special Olympics titles before branching out into open competitions.

Down syndrome is a genetic condition that limits physical and mental development. More background is available through the National Institutes of Health and the National Down Syndrome Society.

As for Ryleigh Bure, KAAL reports he was victorious in two of his three other matches in last weekend's tournament.

Next Up

Eli Hart

6-year-old Eli Hart identified as boy found dead in car trunk

The kindergartner's father was trying to get full custody of his son.


Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.

Minneapolis police

Man found yelling for help after being shot in Minneapolis

The shooting occurred on the 800 block of Elwood Avenue North at around 9:15 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

Minneapolis North principal says she was fired, district says otherwise

“MPS requires schools to follow protocols in times like that and I did not,” Friestleben said.

Kris Richard Severin

Inmate who escaped Minnesota prison is captured

The inmate escaped Wednesday morning.

Brave New Comedy Workshop in downtown Minneapolis.

Brave New Workshop cancels shows due to COVID-19 cases

The shows were scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre.

Austin Retterath

Body of missing U of M student found in Mississippi River

Austin Retterath was last seen alive in the morning hours of May 8.

"Love" mural seen in St. Paul.

Summer mural events to bring together community, shine light on MN artists

The 2022 Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival will take place this weekend in St. Paul's Creative Enterprise Zone, with ensuing events happening this summer.


Gallery: Remodeled lakeside home in Prior Lake on market for $2.8M

It offers privacy at the end of a dead-end road fronting onto Lower Prior Lake.

golden valley police department

Carjacking outside ice arena in Golden Valley under investigation

Golden Valley PD confirmed it received a report of a carjacking Monday evening.


Signs that MN Legislature could move to loosen liquor laws

A provision was approved by a legislature committee on Thursday but still awaits a final decision from the House and Senate.