SAN DIEGO — Olympic silver medalist and 2014 Boston Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi is the 2014 National University Holiday Bowl Honorary Chairman, officials announced today. The honor is awarded each year to an individual who has contributed to San Diego sports and society in a meaningful way. Keflezighi will also serve as the Grand Marshal of the Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade.
Last April, Keflezighi became the first American man in three decades to win the emotionally-charged Boston Marathon in a race that carried heavy significance following the 2013 fatal bombing attack at the event a year prior. He ran a personal best time of two hours, eight minutes and 37 seconds (4:54 per mile) in winning the prestigious marathon, running with the names of each victim on his race bib.
Keflezighi is the only athlete in history to win the New York City Marathon, the Boston Marathon and an Olympic medal. A 1998 graduate of UCLA, his list of accomplishments also includes four NCAA Championships, 22 National Championships and three United States Olympic teams. He won the silver medal in the marathon in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
In November, Keflezighi earned the Jesse Owens Award as the USA Track & Field Athlete of the Year for 2014.
Keflezighi, 39, was the top miler in the United States as a senior at San Diego High School. He now lives in Mission Hills with his wife Yordanos and their three daughters and can often be seen training on the roads around Mission Bay.
This year’s National University Holiday Bowl, featuring the USC Trojans and Nebraska Cornhuskers, kicks off at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 27th at Qualcomm Stadium. Tickets are available at www.HolidayBowl.com.