American Olympic Athlete Waves Two Flags

United States’ Manzano pays tribute to his roots.

Leo Manzano ran across the finish line in his 1500m track and field event at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Manzano finished second in the race, winning silver, and like all Olympic athletes, draped the flag of his country around his shoulders – the American flag. However, Manzano was also handed a Mexico flag – and he grasped the flag tightly as he wandered around the track in amazement of the accomplishment he had just completed. Two flags displayed by one athlete was a unique sight for all to see.

Leonel Manzano Olympics

Manzano was born in Mexico and moved to the United States with his family at age four. The now 27-year old obtained his U.S. citizenship when he turned 18.

While many have lashed out on social media criticizing his gall to display two flags at once, Manzano says it wasn’t a political statement; it was simply an act of patriotism for an athlete from two different cultures sharing his achievements on the world’s biggest stage. Historically, athletes have moved to countries for citizenship where chances of making the Olympic team are greater due to lack of participants.

Manzano stated, “Going into this Olympics, the U.S. is my home, but my roots are still in Mexico. I live in the U.S. I’m still very much connected to my Mexican heritage, but my home is the U.S. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

The United States has been and continues to be a melting pot of immigrants from different counties. It is possible to represent a country you have immigrated from, as well as the United States – and it is a concept that Manzano knows.

Source: Fox News

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