Several cross-country skiers waited at the finish line to congratulate the guy who came in last

Matthias Hangst/Getty ImagesGerman Madrazo races toward the finish line with the Mexican flag.
  • German Madrazo was the last man to cross the finish line in the men’s 15 kilometer cross-country event at the Winter Olympics.
  • Several other competitors, including the shirtless Tongan Pita Taufatofua, greeted Madrazo at the finish line, giving him a hero’s welcome.
  • After the race, Madrazo compared his reception to that of a World Cup athlete, only better.

German Madrazo was the last man across the finish line in the men’s 15km cross-country event at the Winter Olympics, but you wouldn’t know it by his reception at the end of the race.

A full 23 minutes after Dario Cologna of Switzerland had secured his second straight gold medal in the event, Madroza re-entered the arena that housed the start and finsh line to complete his run in just under an hour’s time.

Before crossing the finish line, Madrazo picked up the flag of Mexico, and waved it proudly as he finished the course.

At the finish line, Madrazo received a warm reception from the fans and fellow late-finishers, including infamous shirtless Tongan Pita Taufatofua. Madrazo was lifted up onto their shoulders in celebration along with a few other skiers from warm weather nations.

German MadrozaMatthias Hangst/Getty Images,Pita Taufatofua and other racers greet Madrazo as he completes his race.

When asked about the cheers from the fans after the race, Madrazo compared it to an ovation from a World cup stadium, only better.

“The guys who play in the finals for the World Cup, when they go into the stadium with that roar – I think it’s the same thing only this was way better. Cause there’s 22 of them for the roar and this one is only yours,” Madrazo said (via Deadspin).

Madrazo is one of just four Mexican athletes competing at the Winter Olympics, and the first cross-country skier to represent the country since the 1992 games.

Some nations come to the Olympics with goals of dominating an event and finishing atop the medal count, but for the majority of countries sending smaller delegations, sometimes crossing the finish line is an Olympic feat in and of itself.

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