Leo Manzano

on Feb 12

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“A small runner with the capacity for big things”

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.


  • Leo became the first premier track athlete to sign with upstart running brand Hoka One One.  His credibility and product insights was important to Hoka’s emergence as a leading footwear brand in running.  Hoka now sponsors many track athletes and events and is considered one of the greatest footwear industry success stories in recent history.
  • With his legacy as “The Lion,” Leo has developed his own apparel.”  Shirts adorning his signature logo are available for men, women and children and appear at retail stores in Leo’s hometown Austin, TX.
  • In 2016, Leo was selected to be an Olympic Ambassador for Coca-Cola.


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