Young Thai footballers go back to cave a year after their rescue

Young Thai footballers who were rescued from a flooded cave a year ago have participated in a religious ceremony on the rescue site with their coach and in front of the press, according to Deutsche Welle.

A year ago Sunday, rising floodwater trapped the team of teenage boys and their 25-year-old coach in the Tham Luang Cave, a local tourist attraction in northern Thailand. The Wild Boars were found nine days later and it took another eight days for Thai Navy SEALs to rescue them.

Nine of the 12 team members, now aged 12-17, and former coach Ekapol Chantawong marked the anniversary of their trapping on Sunday by taking part in a marathon and bike event to raise money to improve conditions at the cave.

On Monday, the Wild Boars took part in a Buddhist ceremony before attending a news conference at a museum set up in front of the cave to talk about their lives over the past year.

“My life has changed a lot. Now many people recognize us,” said Chanin Vibulrungrueng, 12, the youngest of the group.

Many of the boys say they still dream of becoming professional soccer players. Others say they want to become Navy SEALs like those who rescued them.

“I want to give something back to the country,” said 15-year-old Prajak Sutham. “And besides, these officers look so cool.”

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