Manzano came to the United States when he was four.
After winning a silver medal in the 1500 meter run at the Olympics, US athlete Leo Manzano carried the US flag around the track… And the Mexican flag.
CNN contributor Ruben Navarrette Jr. added:
There is a big difference between a political protest and a concert.
Now, thanks to U.S. Olympic medalist Leo Manzano, and what I consider to be the misguided and ill-mannered way he chose to celebrate his silver medal in the 1500-meters final, I get the chance to think through the subject of flag-waving once again.
After Manzano finished his race and secured his medal, he did what athletes typically do at the Olympics. He held up his country’s flag — the Stars and Stripes.
The 27-year-old was born in Mexico, but the United States is his country now. His father migrated here illegally from the city of Dolores Hidalgo. Manzano was brought here when he was 4. Like most immigrants, they came in search of greater opportunity. And they found it — for themselves, and their children.
U.S. distance running back at Games
That little boy eventually became a U.S. citizen. And then, after a lot of hard work and thousands of hours of training, he got the chance to represent his country and compete in the Olympics. And, to put the cherry on the sundae, he actually wins a silver medal. The last time an American won a medal of any kind in the 1500 meters was 44 years ago.
You can’t help but be proud of Manzano and the country that allowed him the opportunity to fulfill his potential.
So why did Manzano carry two flags with him on his victory lap? As the world looked on, he held up both the U.S. flag and the Mexican flag. Not a good look. And not a good idea.