News and Views
Olympic Gold Medalist Mo Farah Quizzed By US Customs Officials ‘Over Somali Origin’
Olympic star Mo Farah has revealed how he was detained by US customs officials who suspected he was a terrorist, saying that despite his international fame he frequently gets stopped because of his Somali origin.
The long-distance runner showed US officials his gold medals in an attempt to be released from detention but “they wouldn’t have it.”
“Because of my Somali origin I get detained every time I come through US customs. This time I even got my medals out to show who I am, but they wouldn’t have it.”
The long-distance runner also said he was “blown away” at being made a CBE, but admits that missing out on a podium spot in the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) was “difficult to get my head around”.
The Team GB poster boy was rewarded for his Olympic efforts in the New Year Honours list, announced yesterday.
“I’m blown away. I’m honoured,” said Farah.
“For me, 2012 is done and it’s time to look ahead. But I’ll never forget what everyone in Team GB achieved.”
He said: “This year I had achieved the most I possibly could and didn’t even get third again, let alone a higher spot.
“I mean, there’s nothing more I could have done.”
He recognised it was “such a strong year” and praised SPOTY winner Sir Bradley Wiggins as a “phenomenal athlete”.
He added: “It’s been a big year. But the best way to end it is with the ones I love.”
He said he thinks he has “four or five” years of competition left in him and hopes to take part in the London marathon, possibly in 2014.