Wednesday 13 October 2010

Chilean miners are finally rescued

I woke up this morning and turned the tv on to find that the first of the Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days had been rescued.

I don't think there's ever been a news story from Chile that's dominated the world's attention like this.

When so much of our news coverage is generally quite negative, it makes a change to have such a positive feel good news story emerge like this one.

So why has this story captured the world's imagination so much?

It's the ultimate triumph over tragedy story. It says something about the strength of the human spirit.

It's one of those stories where you feel you can learn important life lessons. Whether it's about having hope and faith in yourself or others. People coming to together and working towards a common goal.

When the story first broke, I immediately thought it would be turned into a film at some point.

I still expect this to happen, but I heard a great suggestion the other day. Rather than tell the story in a conventional two hour film, how about telling it in a 12 part drama series?

I thought this was a great idea. It would allow the story to be told in a totally different way.

They'd be more time to develop and understand the characters involved, and explore in more detail the emotions and events as they unfolded.

A series would also be better at generating the sense of the rescue evolving over a period of time, which you wouldn't get with a film.

The Story hasn't ended yet

This isn't really the end of the story, more like the beginning of the next chapter. What's going to happen to the miners in the next few weeks and months?

Celebrity status awaits them

2 months ago they were just a group of ordinary men working down a mine, now they're international celebrities, this will be such a huge adjustment for them to make.

Certainly their experience will provide them with a number commercial opportunities. I don't think there are many people who would begrudge them making some decent money out of their ordeal.

It's the accompanying celebrity status that's going to be a real shock for them to deal with. I hope they get the appropriate support and advice both for themselves and their families.

The psychological impact

The miners are going to receive a great deal of emotional and psychological support over the next 6 months.

Although many of them are in good physical health, the psychological effects may be longer lasting.

It's so difficult to even imagine what it must have been like buried underground, particularly in the first 17 days, when they didn't even know if they would ever be found.

There may be things that we never find out about as the miners may be reluctant to talk about some of the darkest emotional moments down there.

A proud moment of Chile

Chile isn't a country many people know much about, and few people ever visit. The successful rescue of the miners has put the country at the centre of the world's attention.

Chile's President was right when he explained to reporters how this story has been a great achievement for Chile.

Like many people, the few things I knew about the country related to military coups and the terrible dictatorship of General Pinochet.

But now, whenever people hear of Chile, they will think of the San Jose Mine and the rescue of the 33 miners.

They will remember the determination, spirit, and organisation of those involved in the rescue operation.

I know some people are wondering whether the world has gone overboard with this story, but I think that's unfair.

Stories like this one don't come along everyday. It's one of those rare stories where it doesn't matter who you are, or where you're from, you identify with the drama and emotions that have unfolded in the last couple of months.

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