As an intense Mizzou wrestling fan and overall lover of wrestling, it saddens me to see J’den Cox’s career as a Mizzou wrestler end. His tenure at Mizzou has seemed like a whirlwind of positivity and bliss for us fans and after speaking with many fans of different programs at the NCAA’s (in 2014 and 2017), it is clear that he is a guy nearly everyone roots for…we have just been the lucky ones who get to call him our own during the college season. In that same realm, anyone who is a wrestling fan in the U.S. claimed him as their own during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. I think it’s pretty clear that J’den’s impact on the sport and beyond is not one to be overstated.
J’den’s wrestling accolades speak for themselves, but what’s more impressive and what I’m going to miss the most is his attitude and demeanor towards not only wrestling, but a life of service and kindness. Just by watching interviews with him you can tell that his world does not revolve around wrestling; yes it has been a major aspect of his life, but he values being a good person way more than he does being a good wrestler. If you have kids, like I do, this is the person I want my child to strive to become.
Anyone who has watched the documentary featuring J’den on www.flowrestling.org, it shows that his story is not one free of pain and struggle. His pains and struggles are ones that most of us could never imagine enduring, but he perseveres nonetheless. So, even though most of us see him succeed in the public light, his life has not been null of major challenges to overcome.
Ultimately, this post is meant to pay tribute to a man who has made the lives of wrestling fans better. To a man who always goes out and gives us something to be proud of. He models perseverance, articulation, and a sense of kindness that reflects on athletes throughout this country and beyond.
To J’den: I want to thank you for your years at Mizzou where you have displayed what it means to be a great human being. I wish you the best in your future endeavors!