For every Olympic gold medalist, there's someone going home not just empty handed, but also in last place. For some world-class athletes, finishing dead last would be an excuse to hang their head in shame. But then there are other who somehow make losing look good, like Mexican Olympic cross-country skier German Madrazo.
On Friday, the 43-year-old first-time Olympian chose to jubilantly parade through the last stretch of his race with his country's flag, even though he knew he was finishing long behind his competitors. Felicitaciones, amigo!
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During the men's 15k cross-country skiing event, Madrazo took a detour just before crossing the finish line to grab a giant Mexican flag from a cheering fan on the sidelines, knowing full well that he was about to come in last place. As the crowd loudly welcomed him to the end of the race, he flashed the sort of giddy, triumphant smile you might expect from someone who knows they're about to win. Except Madrazo was nearly half an hour behind the real winner, who finished 26 minutes ahead of him. Still, a handful of his fellow cross country skiers from competing countries -- including Tonga's shirtless flag-bearer -- greeted him with hugs on the other side, lifting him up on their shoulders to celebrate his finish.
Beyond an endearing example of good sportsmanship, the moment speaks to how exciting and emotional it is just to get to represent your country at the Olympics -- so much so that you could accidentally oversleep, lose your coat, and curse on live TV. Though, as much as Madrazo seems to be enjoying himself in PyeongChang, it's tough to imagine he's having as much fun as Adam Rippon.
Check back during the games for all of Thrillist’s continuing Olympics coverage. Think of us like an all-knowing friend watching along with you to answer all the important questions, like how heavy are Olympic medals. We'll explain everything from curling rules and figure skating scoring to what OAR means, why winning athletes are receiving stuffed animals and much, much more.
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