Leo Manzano was born in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato Mexico on September 12, 1984. Manzano moved to the United States with his family when he was 4. He was raised in Granite Shoals Texas, where he became a nine-time state track and cross country champion. Manzano was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He earned a track scholarship to the University of Texas, where he became a five-time NCAA champion and an 11-time NCAA All-American. He made his Olympic debut in Beijing in 2008. Though he went away from Beijing without a medal he was determined to try again. In 2012, he returned to form and won the 1500 m titles at the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships and 2012 United States Olympics Trials. In the 1500 m Final at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Manzano unleashed his signature kick to claim the silver medal. Manzano is the first American to medal in the 1500 m since 1968, breaking a 44 year drought for the U.S. men's middle distance running.