Rescued Chilean Miner to Visit Graceland

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — For rescued Chilean miner Edison Pena, New York comes first. Next are Graceland and Las Vegas.

Pena is set to arrive in New York on Thursday to attend Sunday’s New York City Marathon after officials invited him. Word is the triathlete wants to run it.

The 34-year-old Pena’s trip to New York also will include a scheduled appearance on the “Late Show with David Letterman” on Thursday evening.

But the star treatment won’t end there.

On Wednesday, Elvis Presley Enterprises said Pena accepted an invitation to Graceland, set for Jan. 6 to Jan. 9, which coincides with the anniversary of Elvis’s birthday on Jan. 8, 1935. Pena will get a private tour of the mansion and Elvis’ grave, and will visit the exhibits across the street.

After that, he will be flown to Las Vegas to watch “Viva Elvis,” the Cirque du Soleil show based on Elvis’ music.

Pena is an Elvis fan who reportedly jogged to his music and conducted sing-alongs while trapped underground for 69 days with 32 fellow miners in Chile. Their saga and rescue last month earned worldwide attention.

When Elvis Presley Enterprises heard Pena was a fan, it sent various gifts to Chile, including a picture, DVDs, CDs, a book and sunglasses. “Viva Las Vegas” and “Jailhouse Rock,” were among the movies.

Both the Las Vegas and Graceland trips are on the house, with the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau and Delta Airlines helping with the tab. The visit to Memphis will include a stay at The Peabody Hotel and the chance to try Memphis’ famous barbecue.

Elvis fan from Chilean mine gets trip to Graceland

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Chilean miner and Elvis Presley fan Edison Pena was pulled from deep beneath the earth’s surface on Wednesday and promptly received an invitation to visit the King’s home.

Pena, who is 34 and married, emerged from the rescue capsule Wednesday after being trapped underground with 32 other miners for 69 days.

Pena was reportedly among the most depressed of the trapped men and asked rescuers to send down a photo of the sun. He jogged regularly in the adjacent tunnels that weren’t blocked by collapse.

After hearing that Pena was an Elvis fan, Elvis Presley Enterprises sent various gifts to Chile, including a picture, DVDs, CDs, a book and sunglasses. “Viva Las Vegas” and “Jailhouse Rock,” were among the movies.

“It just seemed it was the right thing to do for someone who is an Elvis fan, to send him some things that might keep them entertained,” company spokesman Kevin Kern said.

After his rescue, an invitation was extended for an all-expenses-paid trip to Memphis and a special tour of Graceland, where Elvis lived for 20 years before he died on Aug. 16, 1977.

“We’re going to make him feel like a rock star,” Kern said.

The Graceland site includes his mansion, the graves of Elvis and family members, and various exhibits featuring The King of Rock ‘N’ Roll. Thousands of fans of his movies and music flock there each year from around the world to commemorate his death with a candlelight vigil.

Kern says he does not expect an answer from Pena to the invitation any time soon, saying there are more important things Pena needs to take care of.

“I’m sure they’ve got a lot of reuniting to do,” Kern said.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press