Thank You Leo Manzano
Today we are enjoying a renaissance in American Men's middle-distance running. It is awesome. I am a big fan.
We must pay homage, I believe, to two men, as they fathered this modern revolution. Alan Webb and Leo Manzano.
Alan broke barriers, rewrote the record books, and captured the hearts and minds of a nation in bleak times. Whereas, Leo delivered an Olympic silver medal in 2012 out of nowhere, breaking a 44-year medal drought in the men's 1500m. The last American to win an Olympic medal before Manzano? Jim Ryun in 1968.
Leo's 2012 Olympic 1500m is a brilliant masterpiece of racing. At 2:48, in the above video of the 2012 Olympic 1500m final, Manzano is introduced and the announcer, in a foreboding fashion, comments, Manzano, "a small figure, sharp finisher."
Leo lived up to the billing, coming from near last at 400m to a 2nd place finish. A sharp finish indeed. And an exclamation point which resurrected a track & field discipline too long left on life support in the US.
So, thank you Leo. Your inspiring efforts in London 2012 will never be forgotten by me and, I hope, generations of American milers.
Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm