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#pounditWednesday, October 27, 2021

Mexican skier German Madrazo overwhelmed with joy after last-place finish

German Madrazo finished dead last in the men’s 15km free cross-country skiing event on Thursday, and coming in 115th place was everything the 43-year-old Mexican could have asked for and more.

After all, it was only a year ago that Madrazo learned how to ski. As Casey Gutting of Yahoo Sports highlighted, Madrazo is an Ironman triathlete from Texas who co-founded the Valley Running Company Club training facility. He became interested in cross-country skiing after reading a magazine article about Peruvian cross-country skier Roberto Carcelan. That inspired Madrazo to start an independent training group along with Chilean skier Yonathan Fernandez and Tongan skier Pita Taufatofua with a goal of qualifying for the 2018 Winter Olympics, and he accomplished that goal.

On Thursday, Madrazo finished 115th out of 115 cross-country skiers. He was all smiles as he crossed the finish line — more than 25 minutes after the gold medalist — waving the Mexican flag.

For many athletes, anything less than an Olympic medal is a crushing disappointment. But for every fierce competitor who wants to be the best, there are people like Madrazo who just want to cross the finish line. That’s what the Olympics are all about.

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