Mo Farah won the 5,000m and 10,000m races at the 2012 London Olympics for host nation Great Britain. He is one of the most famous runners in the world. He was born in Somalia and moved to Britain as a child, where he lived until last year, when he moved to Portland, Oregon to train and avoid the overbearing British media attention.
Recently, he was detained for questioning by U.S. Customs upon returning to Portland for Christmas to see his family.
And even presenting his two gold medals to the officials did not help his cause.
“I couldn’t believe 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,” he told the Sun.
It’s hilarious that they wouldn’t believe him even after he flashed Olympic gold medals. And apparently, Farah had more trouble back when applying for a residency permit to live in Portland.
Farah told the newspaper that when he and his family tried to leave Canada and enter the US as residents they were told they were under investigation as a terrorist threat and would have to stay away for 90 days.
But Salazar intervened and called upon a friend at the FBI – a massive running fan – and he solved the issue.
“God knows what would have happened if he didn’t. We’d probably still be in Toronto,” said Farah.
It’s understandable that Americans didn’t know about a long-distance-running superstar, but it’s unacceptable that they didn’t know Mo from his real accomplishment, being the inspiration for the Mo Farah Running Away From Things tumblr. Our Customs agents should know their memes.