Sir Mo Farah, CBE, is a multiple Olympic, World and European champion – the UK's greatest ever athlete. Mo recently became the first athlete to win three long-distance doubles at successive World Championship and Olympic Games – securing his place in the history books by winning yet another double gold at Rio 2016.
Mo is a dedicated family man who lives and trains in Portland, Oregon (USA) with his wife Tania and their four children: Rhianna, Aisha, Amani and Hussein. He famously dedicated each of his four Olympic gold medals to his kids.
Mo’s achievements are a far cry from his humble beginnings in Somalia, arriving in London from Mogadishu at the age of 8 and speaking very little English. Mo grew up in West London and began running at school when spotted by his PE Teacher, Alan Watkinson, who saw potential in the young pupil. Alan convinced Mo to focus his efforts on running, despite Mo initially wanting to become an Arsenal football player!
Mo was a very successful junior athlete, winning the European Junior 5,000m title in 2001. His major breakthrough on the senior stage came in 2006 when he won a silver medal in the 5,000m European T&F Championships and later in the year when he won the European Cross Country Championships.
Mo's career took another step forward in 2010 with a 5,000m and 10,000m golden double at the European T&F Championships, and then one week later he became the first British man to run sub 13 minutes for the 5,000m - with a National Record time of 12:57.94. 2011 was a dream season for Mo as he became the first British man to win the 5,000m in the World T&F Championships, a few days after winning the silver medal in the 10,000m. He smashed the European 10,000m Record with a time of 26:46.57 and improved the British 5,000m Record to 12:53.11.
Then came London 2012…On 4th August 2012, Mo created history at the London Olympic Games. In his first race, Mo capped off 'Super Saturday' by winning the 10,000m gold in a time of 27:30.42. This was Great Britain's first ever Olympic gold medal in the 10,000m and came after two other gold medals for Great Britain in the same athletics session.
A week later on 11th August 2012, Mo completed the hardest track double of them all by winning the 5,000m in a time of 13:41.66. He joined an exclusive club of just 5 people (Zatopek, Kuts, Viren, Yifter, Bekele) in the history of the Olympic Games to win the 5k/10k double and Mo is the only athlete in history to do it on home soil. To finish off an amazing 2012, Mo's wife Tania gave birth to twin daughters Aisha and Amani. Mo dedicated both of his Olympic gold medals to the girls.
Since London 2012 Mo has gone from strength to strength. During the 2014 European Athletics Championships, Mo successfully defended his 5,000m title and won gold in the 10,000m - completing another major championship double. This achievement made Mo the most successful individual in the history of the European Athletics Championships, with five titles to his name. He then repeated his long-distance gold medal double at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, before ending the 2015 season with victory in the Great North Run.
Mo secured his legacy as the greatest distance runner of all time at the Rio 2016 Olympics - claiming the first ever distance 'triple-double’ after electric 10,000m and 5,000m gold medal wins.
Mo’s victory in the 10,000m was particularly dramatic – with Mo accidentally being tripped during the race, falling to the floor and then having to catch up with the leaders – finally winning in a dramatic finish.
Victory in Rio meant that Mo became the first runner to complete the "double double" of 5,000m and 10,000m golds in consecutive Olympic Games since 'the Finn' Lasse Viren in 1976. Following his success at London 2012, this time Mo dedicated his gold medals to his children Rhianna and Hussein – completing the set!
Mo followed up his success in Rio with a third successive Great North Run victory – completing a historic “hat trick” in front of his home crowd. To round off an incredible year, Mo was knighted in the Queen’s New Year Honours list for his services to athletics.
Mo is coached by Alberto Salazar and runs for the Nike Oregon Project.