Mexican Cross-Country Skier Finishes Last, Gets Tearjerking Hero’s Welcome

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Mexican athlete German Madrazo may have finished last in the men’s 15km cross country at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Friday.

But the 43-year-old ― who hadn’t ever skied until last year ― won the hearts of TV viewers around the world for the emotional way in which his race concluded.

During the final straight, a fan handed him a Mexican flag:

Mexican Cross-Country Skier Finishes Last, Gets Tearjerking Hero's Welcome Mexican Cross-Country Skier Finishes Last, Gets Tearjerking Hero’s Welcome 5a86b0451e000037007abe07

Madrazo proudly held it aloft as he crossed the finish line:

Mexican Cross-Country Skier Finishes Last, Gets Tearjerking Hero's Welcome Mexican Cross-Country Skier Finishes Last, Gets Tearjerking Hero’s Welcome 5a86b0942000003800eaf0c6

Fellow underdogs and late finishers, including Tonga’s Pita Taufatofua, welcomed Madrazo with open arms:

Mexican Cross-Country Skier Finishes Last, Gets Tearjerking Hero's Welcome Mexican Cross-Country Skier Finishes Last, Gets Tearjerking Hero’s Welcome 5a86b0af2000002d00eaf0c7

They then hoisted him into the air:

Mexican Cross-Country Skier Finishes Last, Gets Tearjerking Hero's Welcome Mexican Cross-Country Skier Finishes Last, Gets Tearjerking Hero’s Welcome 5a86b0ee2000002d00eaf0ca
Mexican Cross-Country Skier Finishes Last, Gets Tearjerking Hero's Welcome Mexican Cross-Country Skier Finishes Last, Gets Tearjerking Hero’s Welcome 5a86b0d62000003800eaf0c8

The event’s winner, Switzerland’s Dario Cologna, walked over to congratulate the entire group.

Check out the video here:

Madrazo, who has lived in McAllen, Texas, for the last decade, finished in 116th place, almost 26 minutes behind Cologna. Two competitors failed to finish, and one was disqualified.

Many people on social media hailed the finish as a great example of the Olympic spirit.





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