Leo Manzano was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and has lived in Texas since age four.
Despite attending his first track practice in jeans and work boots, Leo adapted the sport quickly. He graduated high school with nine state championship titles and an impressive personal best mile of 4:06. Leo earned a scholarship to the powerhouse University of Texas, where he became a five-time NCAA Champion.
Although winning often, it is the way Leo does so, with a kick so ferocious he’s been nicknamed “the Lion,” that particularly stands out. The New York Times calls the 5′ 5″ Leo “a small runner with the capacity for big things.” Indeed, at the 2012 Olympic Games, the world saw Leo lay down his speed in a devastating fashion, moving from 9th place to second in the final 350 meters.
Leo’s Silver medal was the first podium performance by an American man at the Olympics since the legendary Jim Ryun in 1968.