This remarkable 7-year-old wrestler was born without legs but has not let it slow him down or keep him from competing. He’s developed a remarkable bond with his coach, who wants to prepare him for more challenges that life will present Isaiah as he gets older. His wrestling jacket reads on the back: “Isaiah Embrace the Grind. No Excuses.” Isaiah’s coach also calls him “the kid to beat” for his age and weight class. Using his arms to pin and maneuver on the wrestling mat, Isaiah gets plenty of take-downs.
Coach Miguel Rodriguez and Isaiah Bird have been working together for two and a half years so far, and his coach has become an influential father figure. When not with his parents, Isaiah lives with his coach in Long Beach, New York. Miguel is also a teacher’s aide in Isaiah’s second grade classroom. Isaiah competes with the Gladiators, a wrestling team Miguel founded. Coach and wrestler were first introduced through Isaiah’s school principal in 2012. For a time, Isaiah was living in a shelter due to his parents’ domestic trouble before moving in with his coach and wrestling family. According to Miguel, they’ve all become just as much family as they are part of a wrestling team. Featured in ESPN GO