Last week saw the untimely and shocking death of a young hero, the implications of this tragedy have yet to fully take shape, perhaps even Jordan was not aware of the influence he had in his short life. The outpourings of love and sorrow which have followed news of this senseless death have come from around the world. Jordan Coe died whilst cutting weight unsupervised for a fight in Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat), his trainers were elsewhere supporting other fighters, and that negligent decision led to his demise.
Jordan literally gave his life for the sport, pushing himself to a limit beyond human endurance, he died living out his dream. He gave himself so that we could learn from his sacrifice; never to give up, never to surrender – no matter what, to fight on to the bitter end in pursuit of happiness. But also never to take the dangers we face, or the transience of life, for granted. Imagine the resilience of this young man, who ultimately sacrificed his life for the art he loved. Sacrifice, to some it is just a word.
In spite of this, Jordan was no fatalist. His infectious love of life was apparent to all those he encountered, and showed itself in his compassion and generosity. For Jordan, to set foot in the ring was his opportunity to shine, but also to celebrate his love for the world. He discovered his calling young, thus he was able to dedicate his entire being to it, indeed it became him – and he it – he was Deachkalek to the core. Never have I encountered a young man so enamoured by his profession, or driven to succeed in it. His work ethic was prodigious, all the more so given his age. Never phased by fear of the unknown – he willingly embraced this life with the dedication of an innovator.
Most of you probably can’t understand the pain and sacrifice we endure to fight, though the rewards are great. During our friendship we joked of his being a tragic hero, even in one of his rare defeats, he still managed to win over the crowd. That death chose one so blessed by this ability to inspire is a dark twist I am yet to fathom. All we can hope are that his last thoughts were of those who loved him, during the short life he lived to the fullest.
If Jordan had been properly cared for by his trainers this entirely preventable tragedy would never have come about, so let this be as a warning to all of us, that death can come to even the brightest among us, and at a time when we least expect it. The way this tragedy has been dealt with here has rocked me to the core, no person – much less a mother – should be forced to experience the things we were exposed to. Dignity in death is only an afterword in this society.
As a postscript I would like to give my deepest condolences to Lisa Coe and her family for their loss, who during this week exhibited near superhuman strength and presence of mind during mind numbing situations. Her son’s impact on so many is doubtless a credit to her own character. Her and her family’s process of mourning their loss can only begin once they have laid their son to rest, but I am heartened that she has remained single minded in her mission to return her son to his home and final resting place, despite this country having set every possible obstacle in her path.