Black Friday 2021 leaderboard ad 06
Search

How Mo Farah’s Life as a TCK Led Him to Flourish in the Olympics

Mo Farah at the 2016 Olympics with his two gold medals. Via Flickr from Wikimedia Commons. Free via Creative Commons License permissions for use.

Background

Thirty-eight-year-old Mo Farah was born in Somalia, where he lived for the first eight years of his life. He subsequently moved to Great Britain where he would grow up for the remainder of his adolescent life. The move to the United Kingdom caused him to be separated from his twin brother, Hassan, and forced him to begin learning a language he knew nothing about. However, it was sports that made his assimilation to the new country so much easier. Mo Farah’s Olympic journey soon began.

Early Sports Life

Mo Farah winning mens 3000 in London.
Mo Farah winning mens 3000 in London. Flickr via Wikimedia Commons. Free via Creative Commons License permissions for use.

After moving to London, Farah found interest in soccer. He enjoyed this sport for a few years until he was pushed by his coach to take up cross country due to his strong running ability. He found himself driven by the passion that he felt for running which was the driving force for his future success.

Farah began winning races left and right, sweeping the floor with other opponents. As he became more well-known within his community, he made connections that helped to further his success in the future. According to Sieg Lindstrom from Britannica, “he was supported in his early career by a number of major figures, including women’s marathoner Paula Radcliffe, who paid for his driving lessons, and philanthropist Sir Eddie Kulukundis, who covered the legal fees for his naturalization as a British citizen.”

The connections Farah made after assimilating into British culture as a Third Culture Kid (TCK) helped him pave his way into the Olympics.

No matter what or where you came from, if you work hard at something, you can achieve it.

Mo Farah on his success from Hiiraan Online.

The Transition

As his skills improved, so did his desire to make it big. In 2001, Farah started training more seriously and winning even more awards. Farah trained and trained until he eventually made it into the London Olympics in 2012, winning the Gold Medal in the 10,000 meters.

After intense training, Farah returned to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. There, he won the same awards he did in the 2012 Olympics.

Post-Olympics

As years have passed, Farah has decided to skip the 2022 Olympics and focus on training for marathons instead. Although not for lack of skill or stamina, Farah just wanted to spend time competing in a different form of running.

Mo Farah 5000m Olympic Final (Mo Farah winning mens 3000 in London. Flickr via Wikimedia Commons. Free via Creative Commons License permissions for use.)
Mo Farah 5000m Olympic Final (Mo Farah winning mens 3000 in London. Flickr via Wikimedia Commons. Free via Creative Commons License permissions for use.)

Growing up as a TCK and being forced to assimilate into British culture made Farah truly step out of his comfort zone and find happiness in a new foreign place. If it weren’t for this move, he might have never come into contact with the coach that challenged him to take on running, leading to Farah’s Olympic journey.

Now, years later, we see Farah representing British pride by winning medals for Britain in two different Olympics. As Farah put it, “no matter what or where you came from, if you work hard at something, you can achieve it.”

ad-get the feeling of home Culturs magazine subscription
Close

Culturs Global Multicultural Media

Celebrating Cross-Cultural TCK Identity
© Copyright 2021. All rights reserved.
Close

Get Free Magazine