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Immigrants Of The Week: Giuseppe Lanzone, Chris Liwski, and Susan Francia

by Greg Siskind


Lanzone La Punta, Peru native Giuseppe Lanzone immigrated as a teenager with his family after his mother secured a work visa opportunity in Virginia. Lanzone's story is not unusual. A lot of children whose parents come to the US to work are able to prosper in our very welcoming country.

Giuseppe will make his Olympic debut in Beijing. But he's got some wind at his back, something which doesn't hurt in the sport of rowing. He and his three teammates just won a Bronze medal at the 2008 rowing World Cup in Lucerne. Giuseppe is also one of Team USA's blogging athletes. You can learn a little about him here.

He's a recently naturalized US citizen despite his having been in the US for more than a decade. NBC has an amusing account of the rush to get sworn in:

After graduating college, Lanzone returned to Peru for a couple of months, as he hadn't spent significant time there since he left at age 15. When he returned to the U.S., he showed up at Princeton to train with the national team. While he was aiming to make the world championship team in 2006, Lanzone had other things to worry about as well, namely, the status of his citizenship. He made the worlds' team, but needed a U.S. passport in order to compete. Two days before the crew left for Eton, Great Britain, Lanzone got a call from his high school coach, Jim Mitchell, who told him he had to get to Washington D.C. that afternoon because his citizenship had gone through. "It takes about three-and-a-half hours to get to D.C. from Princeton," Lanzone said. "I got there in two hours and forty-five minutes." Changing in the parking lot, Lanzone had his interview and took the test, passing with a perfect score. "I was sworn in the next morning, they gave me my passport, and I drove back to Princeton for practice that afternoon."

Giuseppe was a bit of a fashion model on the Today Show a few months back. You can see him modeling the Team USA's Closing Ceremonies outfit and being congratulated on his US citizenship by Ann Curry.