by ADN

March 15, 2017


Photo: ANDREAS Bardell for Aftonbladet
Photo: ANDREAS Bardell for Aftonbladet

What started out as a small “personal interest” story in a sports magazine suddenly became viral. Social networks across Sweden have been telling the story of Kim Källström and 8 year old Max who has Williams syndrome.

Max and ten children with Williams syndrome had the pleasure to be mascots for the Swedish football stars in front of 50 000 spectators during the World Cup qualifying match between Sweden and Germany at Friends Arena on Tuesday of last week.

Max had trained for several weeks in order to prepare to go out onto field. He was scared and nervous when the moment came, but Max went out. Kim Källström, who  plays as a midfielder for the Sweden national football team, noticed how agitated the boy was and sat down and hugged and reassured him so that Max was able to completed his mascot task.

Max’s father, Emil, send a letter of thanks to Kallstrom after the game. In the letter he writes:

“I am writing to you because I’m not quite sure if you understand how much of a difference you’ve made to us. Tuesday saw my son Max do something very special, for other children, it’s really about 15 minutes of concentration and nervousness as well as an incredible joy of having been able to meet the national team.”

Max’s father added:

“Because of your actions my son was able to experience exactly the same feelings as everyone else: pride, a sense of being special.

What you did during those 7-8 minutes to give us months of joy, memories for life and a sense of Max saying “I did it”. I would like to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!”

Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet quoted Källström as saying:

“Of course I’m pleased that Max’s dad appreciated what I did during the field entrance, but what’s more gratifying is that, despite Max being a little nervous in the players tunnel, together we were fortunately able to make it a very positive experience.”

Källström continued:

“In a situation like this I act more like neighbor and parent than as the footballer I just happen to be. I realize I have a responsibility to the parents, who probably themselves are a little apprehensive about staying in the stands, but also to the children who enter with us. I try to be calm and comforting and it is usually enjoyed by kids.”

Some of this information has been translated (poorly) from Swedish to English, using Google.

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