The Thai soccer team that shocked the world when they were stuck in a cave network in Northern Thailand is now all over the headlines again. Known as the “The Wild Boars,” they were invited to play a friendly match on Oct. 7, 2018, at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games at Argentina’s Monumental Stadium, which once hosted the 1978 World Cup final.
The 12 boys and their coach were invited by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to attend the 2018 Youth Olympic Games as a chance to highlight their strength and bravery.
The Youth Olympic games are taking place from October 6 to 18 and nearly 4,000 athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 will participate in the games.
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In a statement said by the head of the Thai Olympic Delegation, Werachon Sukondhapatipak, “The boys are very pleased to be here and very excited. During the rescue operation, so many people from around the world came to Thailand and collaborated to rescue them. They feel that they owe a debt to everyone.”
When the world heard about the boys being trapped in the cave, a collective effort by many countries was organized to help them escape.
The Wild Boars ended up playing one of Argentina’s most profound youth team, River Plate youth soccer team of Argentina. Though the score came out to be 3-3, there was a deeper meaning behind the friendly game. It shows how sport can unite the world.
River Plate’s chairman Rodolfo D’Onofrio, was one of the many who believed in that. He said in Olympic.org, “To receive these boys is very important for our hearts,” he said. “I’m proud they came to River Plate. They went through a terrible thing, but the world is now with them.”
After watching the game, Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said. “To see them now enjoying life and enjoying the sport, it is a great experience,” Bach said. “It is what sports are about. This determination to never give up, to have faith that you can make it. So this was the main reason why we invited them here because this was an Olympic spirit at its best.”