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Rescued Chilean miner (and avid Elvis fan) goes to Graceland

By Ed Payne, CNN
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Chilean miner visits Graceland
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The 33 miners became instant celebrities after their rescue in October
  • Edison Pena visits Elvis Presley's former home
  • He also visted Elvis' star in Hollywood in November
  • Elvis would have been 76 on Saturday

(CNN) -- The Chilean miner who led Elvis sing-alongs for his colleagues while trapped underground for 69 days visited Graceland on Friday.

Edison Pena was a special guest during Elvis Presley's annual birthday celebration in Memphis, Tennessee, on Friday. Elvis would have been 76 this weekend.

"I can't describe it," Pena said through an interpreter. "It's something that makes an impact on me, visually. And being able to see it myself, is like, I feel in the clouds."

The story of the miners, known simply as "the 33" in Chile, transfixed much of the world during their 69-day ordeal about half a mile below ground.

They have been popular on the American talk show circuit since their rescue in October and have been honored by Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and on the "CNN Heroes" show.

The miners and their families toured Los Angeles in November.

Chilean miner belts Elvis on 'Letterman'
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The entourage visited Hollywood landmarks such as the Walk of Fame stars on Hollywood Boulevard, including one belonging to Elvis Presley.

It was an appropriate pilgrimage for Pena who asked for the music to be sent down into the mine during the ordeal.

"He is the king; he is the best," Pena, 34, said in November, as he posed for photographs beside Elvis' star on Hollywood Boulevard. "The sweetest of dreams."

Later this month, the miners are headed to Disney World.

Disney is picking up the tab for the miners, their rescuers and their immediate families during a six-night stay January 27 to February 2. Each family will get a $500 gift card. The group will serve as honorary Grand Marshals of a Main Street U.S.A. parade.

 
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