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Local Olympian Leonel Manzano makes appearance in Rio Games

MARBLE FALLS — You might have recognized a familiar face during the opening weekend of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics: Leonel Manzano.

No, not on the track — the middle distance runner just missed making the games in Brazil during the Olympic Trials in July.

Rather, the 2004 Marble Falls High School graduate was seen in between the athletic events during a commercial for Coca-Cola.

The soft drink company made Manzano, four other Olympic medalists and one Paralympic champion the faces of its campaign for the games in Rio de Janeiro. The other U.S. athletes in the “Gold is a Feeling” commercial are soccer star Alex Morgan, swimmer Nathan Adrian, decathlon and heptathlon champion Ashton Eaton, gymnast Nastia Liukin and Paralympic track star Tatyana McFaddin. You can view the ad HERE on YouTube.

Manzano won silver in the men’s 1,500 meters at the London 2012 Summer Olympics and bronze at the 2015 USA Outdoor Championships.

According to Coca-Cola, the athletes were chosen because they are “positive role models with unique and inspiring stories. They are relatable and demonstrate hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence on and off the field of play.”

Along with his wins on the world stage, Manzano was recognized by Coca-Cola for his nine NCAA Division I All-American honors and for being “one of the most popular Mexican-American Olympic track athletes.” View Manzano’s “That’s Gold” clip HERE, his favorite Olympic memory HERE and three things people may not know about him HERE on YouTube.

The company has featured the six athletes in its ad campaign leading up to the games.

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