Mo Farah hails Britain’s multicultural society for helping him win double Olympic gold

 

Mo Farah today hailed the role of Britain’s multicultural society in helping him to his double gold medal Olympic performance, saying it had provided him with the opportunity to shine.

Speaking the morning after he had been roared to victory in the 5,000m from sofas across the land, the 29-year-old paid homage to his own background after coming to Britain from Somalia as an eight-year-old boy with little English and finding himself in the west London suburb of Hounslow.

He said: “It is amazing. As a kid growing up in London, coming from Somalia, sport was a big thing for me. My story shows no matter what or where you come from, if you work hard at something [in Britain] you can achieve it. And it was amazing the support I got from the crowd.”

The athlete, who still had ringing in his ears London 2012 chairman Lord Coe’s description of him as probably Britain’s greatest ever runner, revealed that he had left a space on the wall of his home in Oregon, where he trains under coach Alberto Salazar, for his Olympic trophies, next to a framed shirt signed by the players of his beloved Arsenal.

The soon-to-be father of twins revealed how important his move to America last year had been in ensuring his development after he fell into a period after the 2008 Beijing Olympics of finishing sixth or seventh in races.

He said: “If I didn't make that change I don't think I would have been here today and competing with those guys. I knew it was the right thing because I was weak. Alberto said I run like a girl, in terms of not using my arms when I'm sprinting, when I'm tired I'm all over the place. It needed to change so if I wanted to be better it was the place to be.”

The thoroughly down-to-earth national hero, who expressed pleasant surprise that his friend Usain Bolt had adopted his “Mobot” pose as he crossed the line in the 4x100m final, said his immediate plans consisted of going for a training run today evening and thinking about buying himself “a nice car”.

When asked if he had thought about the possibility of a knighthood being bestowed upon him by a grateful nation, the idea seemed perhaps as unreal as the idea of two gold medals hanging around his neck had seemed 16 days ago. He said: “Yeh, right.”

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Alexis Sanchez, Alan Pardew and Graziano Pelle
footballAfter QPR draw, follow Villa vs Arsenal, Newcastle vs Hull and Swansea vs Southampton
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam