Lelisa Desisa returns the medal to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. (Michael Dwyer / AP)

It wasn’t so much the gesture as the powerful message that Lelisa Desisa delivered Sunday as he returned his Boston Marathon winner’s medal.

“Sport holds the power to unify and connect people all over the world,” Desisa, who is from Ethiopia, told the crowd through a translator (via the Associated Press). “Sport should never be used as a battleground.”

The marathon, of course, was the target of bombings at the finish line April 15 and  returned the medal to Mayor Thomas Menino at a 10K that drew over 6,400 runners.

“Let me tell you: As mayor of this great city for the last several years, I have never seen Boston come together like it has after the attacks,” Menino told the crowd. “Thank you for making Boston stronger.”

A moment of silence was held for the victims of the bombings.

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After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.