In a story so incredible and unlikely it could have only been written by Disney, 38-year old Meb Keflezighi crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon earlier today to become the first American to win the event in 31 years. Keflezighi’s win comes a little more than a year after the bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260 others at the 2013 Boston Marathon, and the Eritrean refugee honored the memories of those who were lost by writing the names of Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell and Lingzi Lu on his bib.
In fact, after he’d crossed the line and kissed the ground in joy and disbelief, he told reporters that the people cheering him on really inspired him to keep trying and do the seemingly impossible.
“I wanted to win it for Boston … win it for the people,” Keflezighi said after the finish. “The last three to four miles, (the crowd) pushed me through it. I’m so lucky to be the champion.”
“It’s not about me,” he continued. “It’s Boston Strong. Meb Strong.” (Via the Boston Herald)
Keflezighi has a knack for ending long slumps, as his silver medal for the U.S. at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens was the first for America since 1976, while his win at the New York City Marathon in 2009 made him the first American to cross the line first since 1982. But it’s safe to say that today’s win will definitely be talked about a lot more, and probably land him on quite a few talk shows over the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, President Obama even offered up some words of inspiration on Twitter earlier today, as he invoked the great speeches of history in less than 140 characters.
And just look at the kind of powerful sentiment that he helped inspire in return:
Meb strong, America.