Sunday, August 14, 2022

Olympic running legend Mo Farah reveals that he was trafficked to the UK as a child

Track and Field: IAAF World Championships in Athletics
USATSI

British long distance runner and Olympic champion Mo Farah revealed Monday that, as a child, he was trafficked from Somalia to the United Kingdom and forced to serve a London family. Additionally, Farah announced that Mo Farah is not his actual birth name.

“Most people know me as Mo Farah,” he told BBC. “But that’s not my name or it’s not the reality. The real story is I was born in Somaliland, north of Somalia as Hussein Abdi Kahin.”

Farah revealed the shocking information in a BBC documentary that is scheduled to air on Wednesday.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist has said in the past that he was brought to the United Kingdom as a child with his parents. However, his parents never lived in the United Kingdom and his father was killed in a civil war when Farah was just four. His mother and two brothers remain in Somaliland, which is a self-declared state near Somalia on Africa’s eastern coast.

He was taken from his Somalian home when he was just eight or nine and recalls being transported to the United Kingdom by a “strange woman,” who informed him that he would be staying with relatives. At that time, Farah was given the fake name — which we all know him as now — along with fake travel documents.

Farah attended school at the age of 12, and his tutor labeled him as an “emotionally and culturally alienated” child. That led him to taking up running, the sport that “saved” his life. Farah was eventually fostered by a Somali family, according to the BBC interview. 

The identity of the woman that trafficked Farah isn’t known and it’s unclear what kind of punishment she’ll face for her actions if tracked down.

Throughout his track-and-field career, Farah has blossomed into one of the world’s most accomplished long distance runners. He competed for Great Britain in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, and collectively has won four gold medals in the 5,000 and 10,000-meter events. Farah received knighthood from Queen Elizabeth in 2017.

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