MAIZE, Kan. (KSNW) – Olympic boxer Nico Hernandez helped kick off the high school football season in Maize on Friday night.
“I was like oh, I didn’t know I was that special, but I’m glad to be able to get the chance to be here and do that,” said Nico Hernandez.
The Rio bronze medalist made a special appearance at Friday’s game between the Maize Eagles and the Newton Railroaders.
“It’s a great feeling knowing I’m an inspiration to, you know, the whole community, Maize, Wichita, you know, all of Kansas, the USA,” he said.
Hernandez signed autographs and took dozens of pictures with eager fans before the start of the football game.
“It’s pretty crazy because all you see about Olympics is on TV and then he comes here and you get to meet him and everything,” said Topher Cannizzo.
“I think it’s crazy that someone who is known world-wide is coming to Maize, Kansas. I think it’s really awesome,” said Haleigh Avila.
After the signing session, Hernandez took to the field and helped with the coin toss. The crowd, decked out in Olympic gear, roared as Hernandez smiled and waved.
“I didn’t expect all of this. I’m like a celebrity now, like everywhere I go people are wanting to take pictures, sign autographs, so it’s definitely a different lifestyle for me, but I’m liking it,” Hernandez said.