Chile’s Football Girls Dedicate Gold Medal To Trapped Miners

Chile’s girl footballers dedicated their gold medal from the Singapore inaugural Youth Olympic Games to 33 miners trapped in a goldmine in northern Chile, saying their braveness gave them the spirit to win the final.

The miners have been trapped 700 metres underground since August 5, after the shaft they were working in collapsed. They were confirmed to be alive, but getting them to the surface is likely to take some months.”We have been thinking about them the whole time. They went through a lot of drama and held on,” said Chile goalkeeper Paola Hinojosa after the team beat Equatorial Guinea 5-3 in a penalty shootout in the gold medal-match on Tuesday.”What more could we do than to dedicate this gold medal to them?” the Singapore Games’ news service quoted her as saying.”To hear the terrible news about the miners gave us an incredible desire to win this gold medal,” her teammate Macarena Errazuriz said.”To think that they are only going to be able to pull them out of that mine near Christmas gave us an extra push as we were thinking of them and their families, who are suffering a lot,” she said.”We wanted to give them some joy with this gold medal,” said Errazuriz.

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Chile coach Rodrigo Valdes said the team barely spoke about football during the pre-match talk, adding that he showed his players a video about the miners.”We are talking about people trapped almost 700 metres under and are struggling and fighting for their lives. And now they have found hope,” he said.”That is the spirit I wanted to see from these girls and they showed just that and gave their everything,” said Valdes.

One of the trapped miners, Franklin Lobos, has a special bond to the sport as he is a retired footballer who represented Chile in the 1980s.

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