A Nordic ski coach has been thanked for the "remarkable kindness" he showed by helping a student competitor from a rival team up after falling during a race.
Sue, Alex and Ben Chong sent a letter to Doug Hubred, an assistant coach at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School, thanking him for his unselfish actions at a recent Section 6 Boys Nordic ski meet.
During that meet, Ben Chong, who skis for St. Louis Park, fell on a challenging course and broke one of his poles, only for someone on the sidelines to hand him a new pole that allowed him to finish the race.
That person was Hubred, and his gesture was all the more significant given that Armstrong and St. Louis Park were battling it out for a place at state, and in the end it was St. Louis Park that advanced at the expense of Hubred's school.
In the letter, published on the Minnesota State High School League's Facebook page, the Chongs say:
"I had assumed the pole came from one of our coaches and I thought how lucky Ben was that his coach happened to be there. When I later learned that the pole came from an Armstrong coach, I was in disbelief. I thought about the implications. Here your team was neck and neck with SLP for that second-place spot for state.
You could have easily watched like the rest of us, feeling bad for the skier who fell but solidifying your team’s advance to state. Instead without hesitation, you chose to extend kindness to a kid who at the moment needed a helping hand. I have reflected on your honorable action, your selfless deed, since the culmination of that race."
The Chongs admit St. Louis Park advancing to state is "bittersweet" as a result of Hubred's actions, saying: "Your boys earned that spot just as much as the SLP team and I wish they too could have advanced."
You can read the full letter below: