Mario Sepulveda, Sebastian Pinera
The most inspirational thing on TV this week was on the news, for a change.
The rescue of 33 Chilean miners, first trapped underground more than two months ago, kept viewers transfixed throughout the night and most of Wednesday after the first was brought to the surface Tuesday. Coverage of the miners' gleeful reunions with loved ones dominated cable news networks.
The last one was brought up Wednesday night — culminating a 22 1/2-hour rescue mission and ending a 69-day ordeal.
Watch the Chilean mine rescue
The rescue of the charismatic Mario Sepulveda, the second of the miners to see the sky again, provided a spectacular made-for-TV moment. Sepulveda had served as a spokesman for the group while the miners were trapped, providing video tours of the mine and joking with reporters.
As he bounded from the rescue capsule, he hugged his wife, their hard hats clinking, then dropped a bag to the ground and pulled out rocks from the mine floor. Among the recipients of the subterranean souvenirs was Chilean President Sebastian Pinera.
The moment captured the euphoric feeling for all the miners — and the millions of people who have followed their story of survival on-screen and online.
Watch Sepulveda's rescue below: