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Leo Manzano’s Journey To The Olympic Podium

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Aug. 9, 2012
  • Updated Aug. 9, 2012 at 10:02 AM UTC

He is the living embodiment of the American dream.

After Leo Manzano won the silver medal in the men’s 1500m event, he ran around the track waving two flags: one from the United States, the other Mexico’s.

“Silver medal, still felt like I won! Representing two countries USA and Mexico!” the 27-year-old Tweeted after the race.

He entered the U.S. at the age of four without papers.

“Standing on the podium has been a dream of mine and I share it proudly with my family, friends, coaches and all my supporters from Austin, Marble Falls, and Granite Shoals, Texas as well as Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico,” the former University of Texas standout said after his race.

Manzano’s father, Jesus, gained legal residency status thanks to the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act.

Manzano is the first member of his family to graduate from high school.

He became a U.S. citizen in 2004 and represented his new country at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

At the University of Texas, he became a five-time NCAA champion and was an 11-time NCAA All American.

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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