In a matter of days, they went from victims of a nightmare scenario to stars of an inspirational real-life drama. Trapped in a collapsed mine a half-mile underground and pushed to the limits of survival, 33 Chilean miners showed the true meaning of friendship and bravery. That they somehow kept their humanity during their 10-week ordeal was a testament to their unbreakable discipline and amazing sense of optimism. By the time the men were pulled up to earth on Oct. 13, 52 days after they had been found buried alive, the whole world was watching. By simply surviving against incredible odds, the miners had become heroes.
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