On Tuesday, Mexican-born American runner Leo Manzano won a silver medal in the men’s 1,500-meter final, running the fastest time ever by a U.S. athlete at the Games. Manzano, 27, entered the U.S. at the age of 4 without papers, according to LetsRun. He didn’t gain legal residency until 10 years later.
“Silver medal, still felt like I won!..."
On the track Manzano celebrated with the U.S. flag and the Mexican flag.
“I’m really excited, so thrilled and so pumped. It was an insane race. It was probably the toughest race physically and mentally that I’ve ever been in,” Manzano said in a statement.
Manzano’s father Jesus gained legal residency under the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act [signed into law by President Ronald Reagan], but it would take 10 years for the rest of the family to gain legal residency, according to Heather Jelen at the National Immigration Forum.
Leo Manzano became a citizen in 2004 and also represented the U.S. in the 2008 Olympics.
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