The men's winner of the Boston Marathon said in an emotional service on Sunday that he will donate his medal to the people of Boston in the wake of the tragic bombing, he announced at a ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia.
Lelisa Desisa finished the race in 2 hours 10 minutes and 22 seconds, hours before two bombs went off near the finish line.
"My message to all of you this morning is that sport should always be a source of pleasure and enjoyment, healthy recreation, positive competition," Desisa said. "Sport holds the power to unify people and to connect people from all over the world with one another, allowing them the opportunity to share in their common humanity and to celebrate the richness of our world’s cultural diversity. Sport should never be used as a battleground.
"On behalf of my fellow citizens of Ethiopia, on behalf of my entire team, my coach, my manager, my fellow teammates, we commit ourselves to sport and we promise that next year in 2014 we will return to Boston to show the world that our commitment to sport, our commitment to our freedom, is stronger than any act of violence."
Secretary of State John Kerry was also on hand at the event, which included staff and families of workers at the embassy.
— Department of State (@StateDept) May 26, 2013
The announcement came the day after thousands of runners finished their race in Boston.