Thailand’s celebrity cave boys head out on overseas tour

BANGKOK (AP) – The 12 village boys who were trapped with their soccer coach in a cave in northern Thailand for almost three weeks are ready to spread their wings, heading out to meet fellow youth players in Argentina and do a brief tour of the United States.

The members of Wild Boars soccer team, whose ordeal came to a happy ending in early July when an international team of cave divers brought them out in a complicated rescue mission, were leaving late Wednesday night on their 17-day journey.

It had been planned for them to take six months out of the spotlight to ease any psychological trauma. But Thailand’s military government, eager to share in their glory, has trotted them out for public appearances and interviews. Movie deals are being negotiated.

File - In this Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, file photo, members of the Wild Boars soccer team laugh during a media conference. After receiving a healthy dose of press runs in Thailand, the 12 boys and their soccer coach who were trapped in a flooded cave for almost three weeks are ready to take the show on the road as they are scheduled to make appearances in north and south America later this week, officials said. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)

File - In this Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, file photo, members of the Wild Boars soccer team laugh during a media conference. After receiving a healthy dose of press runs in Thailand, the 12 boys and their soccer coach who were trapped in a flooded cave for almost three weeks are ready to take the show on the road as they are scheduled to make appearances in north and south America later this week, officials said. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)

File – In this Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, file photo, members of the Wild Boars soccer team laugh during a media conference. After receiving a healthy dose of press runs in Thailand, the 12 boys and their soccer coach who were trapped in a flooded cave for almost three weeks are ready to take the show on the road as they are scheduled to make appearances in north and south America later this week, officials said. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)

File - In this Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, file photo, members of the Wild Boars soccer team attend a public discussion in Bangkok, Thailand, After receiving a healthy dose of press runs in Thailand, the 12 boys and their soccer coach who were trapped in a flooded cave for almost three weeks are ready to take the show on the road as they are scheduled to make appearances in north and south America later this week, officials said. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)

File - In this Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, file photo, members of the Wild Boars soccer team attend a public discussion in Bangkok, Thailand, After receiving a healthy dose of press runs in Thailand, the 12 boys and their soccer coach who were trapped in a flooded cave for almost three weeks are ready to take the show on the road as they are scheduled to make appearances in north and south America later this week, officials said. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)

File – In this Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, file photo, members of the Wild Boars soccer team attend a public discussion in Bangkok, Thailand, After receiving a healthy dose of press runs in Thailand, the 12 boys and their soccer coach who were trapped in a flooded cave for almost three weeks are ready to take the show on the road as they are scheduled to make appearances in north and south America later this week, officials said. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)

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