Before being trapped half a mile underground for 69 days and finally rescued on Wednesday, the Chilean miners were unknown to the rest of the world. 

Their heroic rescue was broadcast live and watched by millions around the world. About 1,500 journalists reported from the scene, Reuters reports.

Now their personal stories and stories from below the surface in the mine are in the limelight. The men are being called national heroes.

One miner, Victor Segovia, the writer in the group, wrote dozens of pages of what could be his first book, prompting interest among publishers.

Ariel Ticona became the father of a newborn daughter, Esperanza, or "Hope," earlier this month, Reuters reports.

One of the most well known stories coming out of the mine is that of Johnny Barrios, 50, the miner who had left two women on the surface, his estranged wife and his mistress. All eyes were watching to see which, if either, would be there to welcome him above the surface.

Rescued on Wednesday, Barrios was greeted by his girlfriend, a blond woman who hugged him tightly when he emerged from the escape shaft, Reuters reports.

The only non-Chilean, Bolivian Carlos Mamani, was greeted by his country's President Evo Morales as he surfaced.

Morales said the flawless rescue operation helped build confidence between Chile and Bolivia, neighbors locked in a long-standing border dispute about access to the Pacific, Reuters reports.
The very first worker to be pulled up in the capsule was 31-year-old Florencio Avalos, who emerged looking surprisingly healthy after two months of near darkness.

The second miner rescued, Mario Sepulveda, came out shouting with joy and painted red, blue and white, like the Chilean flag. He punched the air, dropped a yellow bag on the ground, reached in and started handing out souvenir rocks, Reuters reports.

And another amazing story, Omar Reygadas, 56, one of the oldest men to emerge, had previously been trapped in a mine two other times. He draped himself in the flag of his soccer club Colo-Colo for the short ride to the surface, freedom and fame, Reuters reports.