Olympic Stories

Mo Farah - Track and Field

Mo Farah - Track and Field

Born March 23, 1983 in Mogadishu, Somalia, Mohammed “Mo” Farah is a British track and field star who will be representing his nation in London this summer at the Olympic Games. Although Mo lives in Portland, Oregon, USA to train, most of his training was done in Britain and he has competed mostly in Europe.

In terms of a track career, few athletes in the world have the resume Farah has without also having won Olympic Gold before. Unfortunately for Farah, a medal this year will be his first, and at 28 years of age, it may also be his last. That’s why Mo is focusing intently on the task at hand, looking to secure gold this summer.

Sporting Career

There are many great runners out there in the world, but Mo Farah is at the top of everyone’s list in terms of competitiveness and pure athletic ability. His specialty events, the 5000 and 10,000 meters, have earned him world championships and track records. But Mo is also very skilled in other events, like the 3000 and 1500 meters, and he also plans to change his entire game by running marathons after the Olympics.

He may not have Olympic Gold to his credit yet, but Farah is the first British male to win European gold at the 10,000m, following that quickly with a gold in the 5000m. This type of long-distance running is something that Farah is extremely comfortable with. Competing for over a decade now, Mo is a nationally recognized figure, endorsing Bupa, Nike, and even winning the European athlete of the year award in 2011.

Farah grew up in Djibouti and arrived in Britain when he was 8 years old, barely speaking any English. Mo never intended to be an Olympic-caliber athlete; his athletic prowess was spotted by a physical education teacher who noticed how talented Farah was. Mo’s real dream was to play footy for Arsenal.

While only 13, Farah entered his first competition – the English cross country, where he would finish in 9th place. Five years later, in 2001, Mo finally broke through and won the 5000m at the European Athletics Junior Championships. Going pro in 2005, Mo then moved in with a group of Kenyan runners to train.

The training paid off in a big way. Mo Farah consistently began winning events across Europe. And in 2009/10, his record-breaking run would begin. On an indoor track in 2009, Farah broke the British record in Glasgow; and in the European Indoor Championships, Mo took gold in the 3000m. And it’s been an impressive run from there.
Because Mo’s explosion didn’t happen until after the 2008 Beijing Games (and considering that you need to be a stellar athlete at least three years prior to that), 2012 in London will be Farah’s first opportunity on an Olympic stage. But if he can keep running how he’s been running, breaking multiple European and British records, GB might have themselves a new medal-winner this summer.

Career Highlights

  • 2006 European Cross Country Championships – Gold
  • 2006 European Championships in Athletics – Silver
  • 2009 European Indoor Athletics Championships – Gold
  • 2010 European Athletics Championships – Gold
  • 2011 European Athletics Indoor Championships – Gold
  • 2011 World Championships in Athletics – Gold
  • 2012 Summer Olympics – Gold (2)

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