After years of avid rivalry between girls’ basketball teams at Grace and Chiang Mai International School (CMIS), one act of kindness restored the relationship, damaged by competition.
In the fourth quarter of the final game—in haste to let everyone play—Coach Walden accidentally put an eleventh girl on the court. But when GIS beat CMIS by at least thirty points, their victory was too quickly claimed. A referee verified the error, then debated with other coaches and authorities. Should Grace be disqualified or recognized as champions?
Other athletic directors agreed to bend the rules and accept a GIS championship. But Coach Walden adamantly refused: “We made a mistake, and we’ll take the consequences.”
As GIS received Second Place awards, due to disqualification, Grace’s girls graciously received silver medals, hugged Coach and Mrs. Walden and sat down.
Then the CMIS girl’s varsity made a huge sacrifice. After receiving gold medals, they asked Grace girls to stand. The rivals faced each other, then a CMIS player said, “Girls, let’s trade.” CMIS removed their gold medals, placed them on GIS girls and took the silver for themselves, honoring Grace as champions, as amazed coaches, teammates and the audience cried.
“We haven’t had the most peaceful rivalry throughout the season, so I honor them. I was wowed by their decision,” a student said.
Moments before, the Grace girls huddled around Coach and Mrs. Walden. “We told them it was OK, and Second Place didn’t matter. The glory goes to God, not to us, anyway,” senior Asia T. said.
written by H. Umholtz (10th Grade)