medalist Boston Marathon-Lelisa DesisaThe 2013 Boston Marathon champion, Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, gave his championship medal to the City of Boston Sunday on behalf of all the runners and to honor the victims of the bombing that day in April.

Lelisa’s return to Boston marked yet another admirable gesture witnessed by the city in the weeks following the marathon.

Desisa presented his medal to Mayor Thomas M. Menino in a public ceremony on the Boston Common.

“Less than two hours after I had crossed the finish line as this year’s champion, my joy turned to sorrow as I learned the tragic news of the death and the injury to so many innocent people,” said Desisa. “This day brought pain to many families and tremendous sorrow into many homes.”

”My message to all of you is that sport should always be a source of pleasure and enjoyment, healthy recreation, and positive competition. Sport holds the power to unite 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.”

Mayor Menino praised the strength of the survivors on display since April 15.

“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.”

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