What followed for the Thai cave rescue team

Those who make up the Wild Boars team in 2019

The world was captivated by the tale of Duangpetch Promthep and 11 other young Thai footballers in June 2018.

The team's fate remained uncertain for more than two weeks as a diving team assembled from around the world attempted to rescue the Wild Boars team from the Tham Luang cave.

The boys and their coach were taken out of the cave one by one while being put to sleep by the drug ketamine as the world watched.

However, the boys' escape signaled the start of a new challenge for them: overcoming the fascination of the international media. The boys, who ranged in age from 11 to 16, were trapped there.

Global news organizations sought out every detail of the team's experience after following their ordeal for almost three weeks.

Following a deal with the Thai government in which each child's family reportedly received $94,000 (£72,000), the players consented to a six-part Netflix documentary series in 2019. The show premiered a year ago.

Separately, Ron Howard's Thirteen Lives, which starred Colin Farrell, was also released in 2022.

The youngest of the boys, Chanin "Titan" Wibunrungrueang, told the BBC last year that the attention that followed their rescue had been difficult for him.

He said, "At first it was very difficult, I had to adjust myself. I didn't know how to act because many people knew about me. When I was on camera or in an interview, I felt anxious. " .

Titan is still playing football four years later with an academy run by Ekkapol Chantawong, the coach who was imprisoned with the boys.

At the time, Mr. Chantawong was only 25. He was a former monk who taught the boys meditation techniques to help them reduce their air intake while maintaining their composure.

Despite being born in Thailand, Monkol Boonpiam, the final boy to be rescued from the cave, and three other members of Mr. Chantawong's team were stateless at the time of the rescue.

But in the months that followed, they were given full Thai citizenship.

After making his way out of the cave, Mr. Chantawong established his football academy to assist young Thai children in realizing their potential.

In July, he told the BBC, "I'm really proud because some of the kids reach their goals. "Some of them want to play football professionally and at the highest level. " .

While they "study and complete their education," he continued, he was there to give them an outlet.

Adul Sam-On was a member of both the Wild Boars and the Stateless.

Adul, the lone English-speaking member of the group, greeted the international diving team as they entered the cave and gave his teammates their instructions.

Adul, who is fluent in five languages, was said to be attending school in New York on a full scholarship last year, according to the New York Times.

Go Shin Maung, his great-uncle and guardian, reportedly told a newspaper that his nephew desired employment with the UN.

According to Mr. Go, "the boys are going their own ways.". "Some will continue their education, and some people watch football. They continue to message and chat with one another, exchanging stories. ".

One of Adul's teammates, Phonchai Khamluang, played professional football for Thai third division team Chiangrai Lanna, according to his Instagram.

And a number of other boys are still active in the sport on different levels. The same was true of Duangpetch Promthep, who was discovered dead on Wednesday in Leicestershire.

"Dom" was the team's star player and captain when he got trapped; he was only 12 years old.

His skill was noticed in August of last year, and he was awarded a scholarship to the Brooke House College Football Academy.

The team has a distinguished list of former players, including Belgian club Genk's Kelvin John and Galatasaray's Jesse Sekidika.

Upon learning of his scholarship, Dom posted on Instagram, saying, "Today my dream has come true.".

In their tributes, his former teammates emphasized his talent as well as his popularity.

While trapped in the cave with Promthep, Prachak Sutham wrote, "You told me to wait and see you play for the national team.". "You'd do it, I always thought. ".

Despite the fact that Wednesday's tragedy has renewed interest in the Wild Boars, they are not likely to participate in many new interviews.

The New York Times quoted Vern Unsworth, a cave explorer who assisted in assembling the rescue team, as saying, "They have no hang-ups about what happened.".

They haven't elevated themselves in any way. They have stayed very under the radar. Simply put, they have made an effort to move on with their lives.

. "

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