ORONO, Maine — An amazing act of kindness and respect took place between two students competing at a high school cross country meet in Orono last Saturday.
Ruth White is a sophomore on the Orono High School girls' team. On Saturday, she broke the course record, then shortly after the race, gave her medal to Noah Carver, who runs for Washington Academy.
Carver was born blind but loves to run cross country with the assistance of his dad by his side, guiding him. They have been doing it together since he was 5.
Cindy Moore-Rossi is the Machias and Jonesport Beals Cross Country Coach. Moore-Rossi said she saw it happen right in front of her and quickly snapped some pictures.
“All of a sudden this lovely little sprite walks right up amongst us, we didn't even see her coming,” Moore-Rossi said, “She just walks right up, stands in front of Noah, and says 'Noah, I want to present my medal to you. I am proud of you. You did a great job,' and she placed that medal on his neck and told him how proud she was. And as fast as she came over, she was gone. There was no fanfare. There was no cheering crowd. It was truly from this child's heart.”
After the races were over, the kind gesture was shared on Facebook by Moore-Rossi and has since gone viral across Maine.
“I felt that she really recognized me as an athlete rather than the blind kid first,” Carver said. “And I felt that that was very significant, also.”
Mike Archer is the athletic administrator at Orono High School. Archer said,
“No one knew about it until the next night when it got released on Facebook, no one," Orono High School Athletic Administrator Mike Archer said. "The only one that knew was her and that young man and his family. She didn’t even share it with our parents.”
At the time of this story, Moore-Rossi's original post had been shared 285 times across the country.
“It's not about the medal, but about showing him (Noah Carver) that people care and are impressed by what he does. I’ll remember the day but the medal doesn’t mean everything," White said. “I am just happy that I could make someone a little happier that day."