At the 2013 Boston Marathon, Desisa was among 32 athletes from 11 countries competing on the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team for the 117 th running of the race.
"When the world turned its eyes to Boston in the days and weeks following the marathon, the resiliency of our city, the courage of our first responders, and the strength of the many survivors were on full display," Mayor Menino said. "Since then, countless acts of kindness and generosity have lifted our spirits and inspired us. On behalf of the City of Boston, we thank Lelisa for his thoughtful and moving gesture."
"Lelisa's return to Boston and his participation in the B.A.A. 10K will mark yet another admirable gesture that we have been witness to in the weeks following this year's Boston Marathon," said Tom Grilk, B.A.A. Executive Director. "Lelisa's participation is itself a tribute to all those affected by the events of April 15 and the aftermath, and we look forward to welcoming and thanking him for his compassion."
"Lelisa is a remarkable young man whose symbolic gesture embodies the heartfelt concern of so many people around the globe," said Rob Friedman, head of Sponsorship and Event Marketing at John Hancock. "We are humbled by his action and join him in respectfully honoring the victims of this senseless tragedy."About the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.)Established in 1897, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of managing athletic events and promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.'s Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock Financial. The Boston Marathon is part of the World Marathon Majors, along with the international marathons in Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City. The 118th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 21, 2014. Nearly 50,000 runners will participate in B.A.A. events in 2013. About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial CorporationJohn Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife Financial, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$555 billion ( US$547 billion) as at March 31, 2013. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com. The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com and on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. SOURCE John Hancock Financial