Felix Sanchez kept his promise to Grandma

With the memory of his late grand mother lovingly placed in his heart and the pride of a 2004 gold medal pictured on his bib, Félix Sánchez won the 400-meter hurdles final at the London 2012 Olympics. Her memory motivated Feliz to inscribe the word, abuela, which is the Spanish word for grandmother, on his spikes.  It seems as if her inspiration guided him to victory.  The rain that fell immediately after his triumph might have been her way of showering him with tears of joy.

Félix Sánchez was born August 30, 1977 in New York to Dominican parents.  However he hurdles under the flag of the Dominican Republic. He won a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics in the 400m hurdles event.  He also mined gold at the 2004 Olympics.

Dominican parents and was raised in San Diego, California.  He studied psychology at the University of Southern California. Sanchez opted to represent the Dominican Republic internationally, and made his debut for that nation in the Pan American games in 1999. He Won 43 races consecutively between 2001 and 2004. Sanchez was also the world champion in 2001 and 2003 World Championships. He won a share of the Golden League million dollar-jackpot in 2002 after winning all 7 races he competed in.

At the 2003 Pan American Games, Sánchez won the Dominican Republic’s first gold medal at the competition and also broke the Pan American Games record in the 400 m hurdles.  Track and Field News named him athlete of the Year in 2003.  He subsequently won the first ever Olympic gold medal for the Dominican Republic in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.

Sanchez was not highly rated to win in the London Olympics because of his current form, however, he posted the fastest qualifying time.  He won the gold in his fastest time of the year – 47.63 seconds-; the same time that he posted in the Athens Olympics in 2004.

Sánchez fell to his knees and laid a picture of his grandmother and kissed it, this was his way of paying tribute to her.  She died in 2008 while he was at the Olympics in Beijing. The hurt prevented him from doing well.  Sanchez said, “I ran terribly. I cried the whole day. I was very emotional,” he recalled. “After that Olympics, I made a promise that I was going to win a medal for her.”

You fulfilled your promise Felix.

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