Leo Manzano Reps the U.S. in the London OlympicsWednesday, August 1st, 2012
Moving to another country is very challenging. Culture shock and learning a new language can be overwhelming, especially for children.
Born in Mexico, Leo Manzano came with his parents to the U.S. when he was four. While going to high school he became a nine-time state champion in track. Though his traditional, hard-working family disapproved of running as a career, they reconsidered when Manzano won a track scholarship to the University of Texas.
At school he became a four-time national champion and a nine-time All-American. He took his chance and qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics only to end up in 12th place at the semifinal for the 1500 m.
Training for the 2012 Olympics
During the four years between Beijing and the upcoming London Olympics Manzano has changed his diet, strength training, and physical therapy to become a whole new athlete. After competing and winning the Reebok Grand Prix and the British Grand Prix, he showed his concrete improvement when he beat his personal records at the IAAF Diamond League meets in 2010.
During the 2012 Olympic Trials Manzano won the 1500 m. Leo told Fox News Latino that in qualifying for his second Olympics, “I do represent the U.S., but I also feel like I represent the Hispanic community.”
Leo Manzano and community wellness
Fitness and wellness is Leo’s passion so naturally he uses his strength and experience to help the community.
Leo created an event, The Manzano Mile, which is a family track meet for ages 10 and up. A portion of the proceeds from the event go towards the Austin Community Foundation in support of wellness, mentoring and organization programs.
Leo Manzano is also an ambassador for The Texas Heart Institute (THI). The institute’s mission is “to reduce the devastating toll of cardiovascular disease through innovative and progressive programs in research, education, and improved patient care.” Today, cardiovascular disease is the #1 natural killer of men, women, and children in the U.S. and throughout the world.
Leo Manzano’s role with THI involves “working with doctors and staff to customize health and fitness messages for key audiences, including fitness tips for children and Spanish language communications targeted to the Hispanic population.”
Below is a video on Manzano’s work with The Texas Heart Institute.
Watch Manzano rep the U.S. on August 3rd, 5th, and 7th in the 1500m event!
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