Josh Zuchowski, 9, Gives Swimming Trophy to Sick Rival

December 17, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

Josh Zuchowski, a 9-year-old boy from Florida, gave his swimming trophy to his swimming rival Reese Branzell, 10, after he won a tournament.

Branzell, according to, was hospitalized with a bacterial infection and could not compete in the Santa Claus Invitational.

“Josh got very emotional and he just said, ‘Dad I feel horrible for him, is there something we can do?’’’ parent Jonathan Zuchowski, told the website. “Then he said, ‘I expect to win five gold medals in this meet, so what do you think if I swim for him and if I win the high point trophy, I’ll give it to him?’

He added: “He wrote the card he was going to give Reese before he even swam the race. The card said, ‘I swam for you today, and I want to give you this trophy.’’’

Branzell said he got a note from his friendly rival, according to WPBF.

“He said he’s sorry I haven’t been feeling well,” he read from the note. “’I won this trophy for you today, and I hope to see you back in the pool. Your friend, Josh.’”

Zuchowski told the station that he “felt bad for him. It wasn’t something I had to do. I talked about it with my parents, and they’re teaching me to be a good sport. So I’m just trying to do what they taught me.”