|Cheering for their sons Birendra and Chabi during the final playoff game|
The Georgia Reds and Texas teams vied for the winner's trophy in the final playoff game on the evening of Day Two of the First Bhutanese Interstate Soccer Tournament. While perfect weather favored the two-day event, held on Friday and Saturday, June 17 and 18, in Atlanta, minutes before the final playoff, thunderstorms erupted, driving hundreds of spectators and players from twenty teams to sheltering cars, tents, and Porta-Potties.
Forty minutes later, emerging to clearing skies, their spirits never flagging and their patience seemingly infinite, this reunion of family and friends witnessed the final game, followed by a parade of trophies, medals, special awards, and words of thanksgiving and appreciation for everyone — in the playing field, across the USA, in their homeland, Bhutan, and in the seven Bhutanese refugee camps in Nepal where many played soccer together as children following ethnic cleansing in Bhutan.
The weekend was another triumph of this refugee community that has shown perseverance, courage, and faith over decades of suffering and injustice, and now, is embracing welcome and opportunity in these United States.
Watch the video (7:56 minutes).
Updates from the soccer field (include photos and videos)
- First Bhutanese Interstate Soccer Tournament (Day One Video)
- Bhutan News Service: Texas bags winner trophy
- Bhutan News Service: The beginning of a new chapter
- The Tournament Facebook event page
Bhutanese Interstate Soccer Tournament: June 17-18, 2011, in Atlanta