This is Gladys Tejeda, who was born to a family of subsistence farmers, two and a half miles above sea level in the Andes of Peru. Today she completed the Olympic Marathon.
|Gladys Tejeda with the Museum of London in the background|
She finished in 43rd place, in a personal best time of 2:32:07, nine minutes behind the winner and totally unnoticed by the cameras. I was standing at 33.7km when I took this picture. I wanted to know what would happen to her when I saw her carrying the flag in the opening ceremony.
The crowd all around me cheered every single runner. If they couldn't pronounce her name and didn't know the name of her country, they just shouted "Go Oooonn!! Keep Goinnnng!". And quite a lot of them, including me, stayed to cheer on the runner in 107th and last place, making as much noise for her as we could. The men in the clear-up van applauded us right back.