Some kids just develop differently than others. That’s not exactly a groundbreaking statement — adults come in all shapes and sizes, after all — but nowhere is it more stark than athletic competitions. The stop-start nature of puberty and development means that even within the same age group, you could have a proverbial “man among boys” who is so much more than those around him, it’s scary.
And so it is with 9-year-old Mea’alofa Te’o, who dominated a 9-and-under rugby tournament in Canberra, Australia, in the most vicious fashion possible. He’s so obviously bigger and stronger than those around him that you begin to be legitimately concerned for the safety of the normal-sized kids. Of course, it doesn’t help that he also seems to be faster, despite his extra size and thicker build. Mea’alofa has developed a truly hellacious stiff-arm, which he uses to toss kids aside like bags of laundry. It toes the line between viscerally satisfying and scary.
We’re not going to shame Mea’alofa for being big, strong and good at rugby, however, there are kids of his size who are still not great at sports, so we won’t stand for any criticism like, “well it’s easy for a big kid,” or “he shouldn’t be allowed to play.” Let Mea’alofa own some fools.