Where is Chile – exactly? I knew that Chile is a Spanish speaking country in South America known for Chilean wine and well regarded for football (soccer in the US) but the non-stop media coverage of the miners’ rescue on TV in US,Europe and Asia convinced me that we all need to know a little bit more about Chile. The interesting part is that Chile is that long western strip in South America you would recall from Geography class- home of the Andes mountain range.
[ Note: This post from October 13, 2010 is updated on June 4, 2021 for formatting and a flashback video from NBC]
And then there was this Polish guy celebrating in Poland saying ” we all feel Chilean” as the last of the miners were pulled out ! With a real time live positive story the world went into rapture just watching the miners come out. CNN and BBC apart from every major and minor world media outfit provided live coverage.
The miners came out looking fresh and shaved after two months underground. The announcer helpfully explained that the Chilean Government realized that over a billion people in the world was watching and minor things like shaving, dark glasses and “how to answer media questions” went on as part of the training and briefing of the about to be rescued miners.
The more impressive performance of the Chilean Government was to actually have three alternative plans A,B and C to reach the miners through three different ways of drilling the half mile distance. A NASA specialist, who had done space station rescues, was roped in and provided advise on diet, exercise so that all the miners did remarkably well in the 90 degree F, 90% humidity atmosphere of the mine.
The Chilean miner rescue brought the world together in a very unusual, positive and cheerful sort of way. The Chilean Government leaders seemed organized,engaged and not there just for the “photo op.” The world was certainly impressed with Chile.