Marathon Winner Gives Medal to City of Boston

2013 Boston Marathon winner Lelisa Desisa gives his medal to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino at the BAA 10K to honor those impacted by the April 15 bombings.

Marathoners spend countless hours training to compete in races, and for elite runners like Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa, the goal is to come away with the medal for top finisher.

But compelled by the tragedy that claimed three lives and injured hundreds of others after he won the 2013 Boston Marathon, Desisa gave that medal he worked to win to the city Sunday.

Desisa honored Boston in a ceremony on Boston Common shortly after the completion of the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) 10K, the first BAA event since the Boston Marathon Bombings.

“We promise next year, in 2014, we will return to Boston to show the world that our commitment to sport, our commitment to our freedom is stronger than any act of violence,” said Desisa Sunday through a letter he wrote translated into English.

Desisa added that “sports should never be used as a battleground” and offered his “heartfelt condolences” to those who were gravely impacted by the bombings.

Mayor Thomas Menino was on hand to accept the medal from Desisa and thanked him for his generosity.

“Thank you for your symbol of gratitude to help us,” he said.

Watch the video above for more.

South End Patch