The youngsters went in to explore before rain-fed floodwaters pushed them deep inside the dark complex. Their rescue was hailed as nothing short of a miracle.
A year later the boys are notably older and taller.
The last of the "Wild Boars" - as their team was known - emerged almost three weeks later, after specialist divers carefully sedated them before extracting them through the narrow, flooded passageways.
The boys and their coach have since become celebrities, represented by the 13 Tham Luang Co. Ltd., which Thailand's authorities helped put to glance after their interests. Netflix has acquired the rights to their story.
They ran past a statue of Thai Navy SEAL diver Saman Gunan, the only fatality during the almost three-week rescue from the depths of the water-logged cave.
"However they're handsome, each physically and spiritually, there is nothing to disaster about", he stated.
The 12 boys from the youth soccer team "Wild Boars" and their coach who got stuck in a Thai cave last year, led a charity marathon and bike race event to mark the incident's one year anniversary on Sunday.
The risky and unprecedented mission to save the 12 boys and their coach, who were stuck in floodwaters in the cave in northern Thailand last June 23, captivated the world.
Many local and foreign rescuers returned for yesterday's run.
Worldwide rescuers team prepare to enter the cave where a young soccer team and their coach trapped by flood waters.
Saman's wife, Waleeporn Kunan, said the boys always expressed their gratitude to her when they crossed paths in the district where they all live.
The cave and the city of Mae Sai within the mountainous province on the border with Myanmar are now flooded with irregular tourists.
The cave's surrounding facilities, which upright past year essentially featured dust roads and thick mud, has seen some important renovations with facilities being constructed, roads paved, and stores settling in.
Local souvenir shopkeepers said that the attention has improved their fortunes.
"Before the kids became trapped, there wasn't a single shop around here. It used to be all upright farm and field", he stated.
On Monday, the Wild Boars took part in a Buddhist ceremony before attending a news conference at a museum set up in front of the cave to talk about their lives over the past year.