Mexican Cross-Country Skier Finishes Last, Gets Tearjerking Hero’s Welcome

Mexican athlete German Madrazo may have finished last in the men’s 15km cross country at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Friday.

But the 43-year-old ― who hadn’t ever skied until last year ― won the hearts of TV viewers around the world for the emotional way in which his race concluded.

During the final straight, a fan handed him a Mexican flag:

Matthias Hangst via Getty Images

Madrazo proudly held it aloft as he crossed the finish line:

Matthias Hangst via Getty Images

Fellow underdogs and late finishers, including Tonga’s Pita Taufatofua, welcomed Madrazo with open arms:

ODD ANDERSEN via Getty Images

They then hoisted him into the air:

Murad Sezer / Reuters

ODD ANDERSEN via Getty Images

The event’s winner, Switzerland’s Dario Cologna, walked over to congratulate the entire group.

Check out the video here:

Madrazo, who has lived in McAllen, Texas, for the last decade, finished in 116th place, almost 26 minutes behind Cologna. Two competitors failed to finish, and one was disqualified.

Many people on social media hailed the finish as a great example of the Olympic spirit.

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