Tale of a folk hero

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Some heroes are apparent. Others unrevealed.

Some heroes are apparent. The brave cop, the selfless firefighter, the life-saving doctor.  Others are not fully realized: the inspiring activist, the devoted teacher, the sacrificing parent.

But folk-heroes. That’s another matter.

They are born of mortal flesh yet transcend the limits of being human. They hoist and carry the dreams of the masses.

On one October night Raul Jimenez leapt from the ground with the grace and poise of a danseur, his back to the Panamanian goal.

Sixty thousand people in the stands at Azteca stadium silently watched, their hopes of advancing to the World Cup diminished by Panama’s late game-tying goal.

The striker sank back to the ground, his back the vanguard and his feet overhead, striking the ball.

Sixty thousand people in the stands at Azteca erupted as the ball crashed into the net.

Mexico would live to fight another day.

On that night in Azteca a folk hero was born.

Long live The Bicyclist. Long live El Tri.