Manzano to be honored at Endurance LIVE Sports Awards
Feb. 20, 2013
LOS ANGELES - Leo Manzano will be honored Saturday at the 21st Annual Endurance LIVE Sports Awards Gala which will be held at Club Nokia at L.A. LIVE.
Manzano will be honored with the Male Running Performance of the Year after claiming the silver medal in the 1,500 meters at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Manzano failed to reach the finals in the 1,500 meters in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and dedicated himself to an improved performance for his second Olympic appearance.
This time around Manzano qualified for the final, but found himself sitting in 10th place with only 400 meters to go.
“I knew that with a lap to go everyone in the group would be jostling for position,” Manzano recalled. “My plan was to either be in front of the chaos or behind it.”
He was behind the chaos, but never panicked. “I wasn’t planning to be that far back,” he laughs, “but I’ve always had a good kick.”
Not willing to wait another four years for another chance at an Olympic podium, Manzano shifted gears down the final stretch and roared to second position before collapsing to the track.
Manzano’s final kick won the first American medal in the 1,500 meters since the great Jim Ryun took home silver in 1968.
“I was in shock. I couldn’t believe I was actually winning an Olympic medal,” Manzano admitted.
Ryun will present Manzano with the award and the two American milers will have the rare opportunity to pose for a classic photo with their silver medals.
Material from Competitor Group, Inc. contributed to this story