Dom Promthep has come for a boy from the Thai province last year, quite a around. The 14-Year-old from Mae Sai, a small town on the border with Myanmar, was in England, in Japan, in Argentina and in the United States. In Bangkok, the king gave to honor him with a Gala. Soon to be a Film (“The Cave”) about his fate comes to the cinema. Netflix series, Disney is shooting a documentary. And they have even built a monument.

The celebrity stems from the fact that Dom U16 was captain of the Moo Pah, “wild pigs”, the football club of Mae Sai. 23. Last June, a Saturday, he rose with eleven other boys, all between eleven and 16 and to the maintainer (25) after the Training on the bike. They went to a cave and climbed inside. Because of the monsoon all the rain flooded, were you.


the boy saw the Moment when they were discovered in the cave


This is the beginning of 17 days of Drama was. When they were rescued after an unprecedented international relief action, at last, cheered by half the world. It is the almost perfect hero story was at the time. Today, it is marketed as large as possible, where the accents are differently placed than twelve months ago.

For Thailand, it’s also about the Image

Thailand, which would have been lost without help from abroad at that time, has taken hold of the Story. It’s not just about the money – also about Image. No wonder: So good news, it was not from the UK, where since the military coup of 2014, the military ruled, a long time ago. And since then not again, even if in the meantime was elected.

the focus is on the children, of course. The first few weeks after the rescue from the Tham Luang cave were the Moo Pah yet. Initially, in quarantine in the hospital, then for two weeks in the temple, where they settled according to the Buddhist rite, the heads are shaving. And finally, together on Tour: Fifa, Manchester United, to talk shows in the United States. Three of the boys and the managers who were, until then, stateless, got a Thai passport.

In the largest temple of their home city, it gives you honour now even a Museum. The coach helps out there sometimes. In the Museum, the backpacks, with whom they were traveling, and one of the wheels exhibited are of your football shoes. At the output of all are nearly as large as life, in stone, with orange monk robes, and, strangely enough, also with blue hair. Dom, the captain, is equal to the first, quite foreign to the right.

Only five of the boys are in the school of Mae Sai

His mother, Noi Promthep, know what you think of the worship. “I’m very proud of,” says the 42-Year-old, which operates on the market of a Laundry stand. “He’s fine. But he comes so often to go home.” Dom goes on in Chiang Mai to a boarding school, 250 kilometers. At the school of Mae Sai, only five pigs from the “wild”. The sports place in the vicinity, where you earlier have kicked in, this evening is empty.


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school Director, he Pongsuwan says: “Some of you are now in the age where they are rebellious. You need to go out more and not play so much football.” The boy would be treated like all other students. But of course, there is envy. Two of them on Instagram, each of almost 150 000 Followers. One would question the “wild pigs” to all the like yourself. However, this is impossible. All requests for a Meeting will be blocked.

The footballers and their parents have Exclusive contracts. Who is allowed to interview you, will be decided in Bangkok. It is also a question of money. Alone for the Netflix series, each family should receive, according to a report in the local newspaper three million Baht (about 86.000 euros). So far, however, it is under the Hand, you have seen nothing yet. Dom’s mother says only: “I don’t like to talk about money.”

1.3 million visitors to the cave

has become The cave itself, a place of pilgrimage. All in all, have been counted 1.3 million visitors. A while ago, more than 10 000 people in a single weekend – even though there is not much to it, actually. The black hole that went in earlier is locked. The fence is a photo of the twelve boys and the Trainer, as well as a sign “depends on the restricted area”. Next year, the cave is opened again.


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In the vicinity will soon open another Museum. Prior to that, a monument to the man who is for the Thais, the greatest Hero: former Navy diver, Saman Kunan, a single fatality in the drama already. The 37-Year-old went before the actual rescue began, in the cave of the oxygen. The Monument of bronze snake the wild boar to his feet: one large and twelve small. Prior to that, a group of tourist down the inside of the white flowers.

One of them, Siri Meeratsamee, says: “I am so proud of him. And to my country. No-one believed that we could do it. But we did it.” Then the wife buys a dozen or so stands still a T-Shirt with the portrait of the diver and a ticket for the lottery. You can cave to die in the Tham Luang. You can also have a lot of luck. the

Christoph Sator / vit / DPA