Weini Kelati: Breaking Records and Navigating a New World

Weini Kelati (Photo courtesy Under Armour)
When Weini Kelati made the choice to board a plane and leave her home country of Eritrea to come to the United States, she had one goal in mind: to make it to the Olympics.
Growing up, Kelati’s family lacked access to transportation, so she began running everywhere and anywhere she could. Although it wasn’t until she was 12 that one of her teachers convinced her to begin running competitively, she soon after started training to participate in international junior meets around Europe.
In 2014, she competed at the World Junior Championship in Eugene, Ore., U.S.A., where she represented Eritrea. Afterward, she called her family to tell them she wouldn’t be coming back and would be starting a new life in the United States.
Weini Kelati (via Instagram)
Weini Kelati (via Instagram)
Kelati moved in with a relative in Virginia and later became a student at the University of New Mexico, and after only living a year in the U.S. she won the 2015 Footlocker National Cross Country Meet. She now has her aim set on qualifying for her first U.S. national team.


Kelati has revealed very little about her life in Eritrea, but what she has said all contributes to her current drive and work ethic.

In an interview with Citius Mag, she stated:

Coming to college was the easiest part of my life. If I went back home and was on that plane, I don’t know. I might have survived or not. I might be living in poverty and still suffering with my family.

She goes on to reveal that she lost her father in 2001, but the lessons he left behind made her want to build something greater than herself.

According to Kelati, her family struggled a lot when she was a child, and coming to the U.S. was like growing up in two different worlds. It’s hard to get into college where she’s from, and poverty runs rampant in Eritrea, with 66% living below the poverty line. Her wish would be to show her family a good life and get them away from the life they had.


In 2022, Kelati placed first in the Women’s 10,000m at the Sound Running Track Meet, broke the women’s record at the Manchester Road Race among others, is on Under Armour’s Run roster and recently became a U.S. citizen, making her eligible to represent the United States. Currently, she is still competing to make it to the Olympics.

Weini Kelati (Photo credit: Under Armour)
Weini Kelati (Photo credit: Under Armour)

Of course, with everything else going on in her life she eventually wants to give back to the community that got her to where she is today:

I want to help the people who live in poverty and young women and men struggling with their lives. I can’t wait to give back to the community. Everyone needs help. If I had no help from the people around me, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. We might not understand this because when you get something sometimes you forget what you have gone through. Small things give hope to the people who live in the dark. I want to inspire people and give back to young people who have big dreams. I want to support their dreams.



Culturs Global Multicultural Media

Celebrating Cross-Cultural TCK Identity
© Copyright 2021. All rights reserved.
Verified by MonsterInsights