This story originally appeared in the student newspaper Xchange, and was written by Elise Wilhem.
Imagine at four years old, you are flying over 13 hours to a brand-new country to receive a better education and gain more opportunities to succeed. Soon you’re a senior in high school with lots of achievements and experience under your belt, thriving on the track and continuing to carry on cultural tradition such as speaking Arabic to your family at home.
Lado and Kose Kose are seniors at Pius X and have been performing on the track team for almost their whole high school careers, competing in state track meets and setting high standards for those following in their footsteps.
Kose Kose has been doing high jump since his sophomore year and has gone to the state track meet the past two years. His first trip to the meet he finished with a fourth place rank and the following year he earned a second place medal.
“This year I’m expecting to get first place in high jump and even though it’s my first year doing long jump, I am hoping to do well in that event also,” Kose said.
Lado Kose, however has been doing triple jump since his freshman year. He went to State his junior year and placed 10th. This year, his state tournament goals are to jump at least 46 feet and place in the top three. He is using his goals to motivate himself at practice to continue to improve on his form and get faster.
“My goals motivate me to keep myself on track and not do things that lead me away from where I want to be at the end of the season,” Lado said.
With the constant competition of performing against each other, the brothers do a good job of keeping it a friendly competition.
“People like to try and bring up who is better or make jokes, but we do different events so it’s pretty easy to never let it get to us,” assured Kose.
Their brotherly bond has been strengthened by memories of all kind, but growing up in Syria, then moving to the U.S. has helped make for a unique experience. From receiving their first bikes and riding them all around their home to jumping between beds leading to Kose cracking open his head, their memories from Syria will stay with them forever.
“My family is fluent in Arabic and some of my favorite desserts are from Syria,” Lado shared.
Lado and Kose continue to cheer and support each other through all their successes. The boys always work hard and try to improve every practice, especially with state track quickly approaching.