New Delhi: The 12 boys from the youth soccer team ‘Wild Boars’ and their coach who got stuck in a Thai cave last year, led a charity marathon and bike race event to mark the incident’s one year anniversary on Sunday.
The marathon was held near the Tham Luang cave where the Wild Boars football team got trapped along with their coach. They are also scheduled to attend a Buddhist merit-making ceremony at the cave on Monday.
Ekapol Chantawong, the former coach of Wild Boars stood in front of a newly placed statue of Lieutenant Commander Saman Gunan, former Thai Navy SEAL who lost his life in rescuing the boys.
Due to their new contractual obligations, the boys and the coach are prevented from talking to the press, while a company formed by their parents – 13 Tham Luang (based on the cave’s name) – now looks after their image rights.
“Now the kids are fine, they go to school normally,” said Lt Gen. Weerachon Sukhontapatipak, the spokesperson for the Thai Prime Minister’s office and head of the government committee created to uphold the children’s interests.
“After being trapped in the cave, they say they have gained a lot of experience. It was a big deal,” he said.
On June 23, 2018, torrential rain and rising floodwater had trapped the Wild Boars boys and their coach for nine days in the cave with very little food and water until their whereabouts were known. The incident was broadcasted all over the world the moment they were located in the deep twisted cave and they were finally brought out on July 10.
The cave incident changed the lives of the Wild Boars boys as the team and their coach are still grappling with fame after the rescue operation grabbed all eyes.
A number of the local and foreign divers who took part in the search and rescue operation which required placing oxygen canisters along the path where the divers went through twisted passageways of muddy water and strong currents.