Powerful photo, taken by my friend @PhillyIdol1017 - let's find the guy in the photo! #whoshoveledthefinishline pic.twitter.com/HO9WrxeHnI— Gabrielle Daniels (@AroundTownGabby) January 28, 2015
BOSTON — The Internet is on a hunt — and this time it's the good kind.
Tuesday afternoon, in the middle of a major winter storm that dropped more than 2 feet of snow on the city, Philip L. Hillman, a guest at the Charlesmark Hotel in Boston, looked out his window and saw what some on Twitter are saying epitomizes "Boston Strong."
The photo, originally tweeted out by Hillman, is of an unknown person scraping the snow off of the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street. Attached to the tweet was the hashtag #whoshoveledthefinishline. And with that, the hunt for the finish line shoveler was on.
Hillman said in a tweet that he believed the person was an employee of the Charlesmark Hotel, but according to BostInno, an employee of the hotel said it wasn't any of them.
Update at 1:51 p.m.: A staffer at Back Bay Social Club has confirmed to WBUR that the man who shoveled the marathon finish line is Chris Laudani, a bartender at the restaurant.@BostonDotCom The marathon finish line shovler was Christopher Laudani! He borrowed our shovel to do it!— BackBaySocialClub (@BackBaySocial) January 28, 2015
According to Catalina Gaglioti, an employee at the Boylston Street bar, Laudani volunteered to help clear the snow from the restaurant's entrance, and then moved on to the finish line.
"He actually ran the Boston Marathon ... so I think it was a really special thing for him," Gaglioti said.
We are currently attempting to reach Laudani for a comment, but he told Boston Magazine "I love the Boston Marathon and everything it stands for, the finish line doesn’t deserve to be covered in snow.”
Update at 4:21 p.m.: The Boston Athletic Association, which hosts the Boston Marathon, also caught wind of Laudani's gesture.
BAA executive director Tom Grilk said in a statement: "For someone to brave the winter blizzard to clear our finish line for us is yet another statement as to what our event means not only to runners but also to Americans."
This article was originally published on January 28, 2015.