— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) July 25, 2018
11 members of a soccer team who were trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand for nearly 2 weeks took part in a ceremony to enter the monkhood at a Buddhist temple on Wednesday.
The boys, aged 11 to 16, shaved their heads and attended a novice ceremony to be monks in Chiang Rai province.
A 12th member of the team did not take part in the ceremony because he is not Buddhist. The team's 25-year-old coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, was ordained as a monk on Wednesday.
The team became trapped in the cave on June 23 when heavy rain from a seasonal monsoon blocked the entrance to the cave.
The massive international rescue effort included expert cave divers from Thailand, England and Great Britain and was televised all over the world.
The team dedicated their ceremony to Saman Gunan, the retired NAVY diver who died delivering oxygen tanks to the boys in the cave.
“Their lives will change now,” said Manit Prakobkit, an official of a regional cultural group. “This experience will help them to appreciate their parents and give them a taste of Dhamma."