Olympic skier from Mexico crossed finish line last, greeted like a champion

The happiest person to cross the finish line of the men’s 15-km cross-country skiing race during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics wasn’t the person who finished first — it was arguably the person who finished last.

Mexican athlete German Madrazo, 43, took up skiing for the first time last year, and after only a year of training managed to qualify for the 2018 Games.


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While Madrazo wound up finishing last — about 26 minutes behind the event’s gold medal winner, Switzerland’s Dario Colagna — he was given a hero’s welcome by the other athletes.

As Madrazo closed in on the final stretch of the race, a fan handed him a Mexican flag, which he waved jubilantly as he crossed the finish line.

Other skiers that finished near the end of the pack, from Colombia, Tonga, Morocco, and Portugal, were there to congratulate Madrazo, hoisting him up on their shoulders to celebrate his race.

Tonga's Pita Taufatofua (L) and Morocco's Samir Azzimani (R) lift Mexico's German Madrazo onto their shoulders as they celebrate at the finish line in the men's 15 km cross-country freestyle during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on Feb. 16, 2018 in Pyeongchang.

Tonga's Pita Taufatofua (L) and Morocco's Samir Azzimani (R) lift Mexico's German Madrazo onto their shoulders as they celebrate at the finish line in the men's 15 km cross-country freestyle during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on Feb. 16, 2018 in Pyeongchang.

AFP PHOTO / Odd ANDERSEN

The moment captured the hearts of Olympics viewers around the world and was hailed on social media as a true demonstration of Olympic spirit.

Madrazo is one of just four Mexican athletes competing in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

German Madrazo of Mexico holds the flag of Mexico as he approaches the finish line during the cross-country skiing men's 15 km race on Feb. 16, 2018 in Pyeongchang.

German Madrazo of Mexico holds the flag of Mexico as he approaches the finish line during the cross-country skiing men's 15 km race on Feb. 16, 2018 in Pyeongchang.

(Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images,)
Madrazo celebrates after crossing the finish line at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on Feb. 16, 2018.

Madrazo celebrates after crossing the finish line at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on Feb. 16, 2018.

AFP PHOTO / Odd ANDERSEN

See Global News’ Coverage of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games:

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