Sir Mo Farah, CBE, is a multiple Olympic, World and European Champion athlete. For many he is Britain’s greatest ever athlete having accumulated 10 global titles which includes the ‘double double’ of gold medals over 5,000m and 10,000m at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. He holds numerous European and British Records and has the World Bests for 2 miles indoors (8:03.40) and the One Hour Run (21,330m).
Mo is a dedicated family man who lives and trains in South West London with his wife and their four children. He famously dedicated each of his four Olympic gold medals to his four children.
His 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, who saw potential in his young student.
Mo was a very successful junior athlete, winning the European Junior 5,000m title in 2001. His major breakthrough came in 2006 when he won a silver medal in the 5,000m at the European T&F Championships and later in the same year 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 5000m – setting a British 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 at the World T&F Championships, a few days after winning a 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 the London 2012 Olympics. In his first race, Mo capped off “Super Saturday” by winning the 10,000m gold medal in a time of 27:30.42. This was Great Britain’s first ever Olympic gold medal in the 10,000m. One week later Mo completed the long distance double by winning the 5,000m in a time of 13:41.66. To finish off an amazing 2012, Mo’s wife Tania gave birth to twin daughters to whom Mo dedicated each of his Olympic Gold Medals.
Since London 2012 Mo has continued to go from strength to strength. At the 2013 World T&F Championships in Moscow, Mo completed another long distance double in the 5,0000m and 10,000m. At the 2014 European T&F Championships in Zurich Mo did the same again. This achievement made him the most successful individual in the history of the European Athletics Championships, with five titles to his name. He then once more repeated the long distance 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 one of the greatest distance runner of all time at the 2016 Rio Olympics. By winning both the 5,000m and 10,000m gold medals Mo became just the second athlete to complete the long distance double-double. Victory in the 10,000m was particularly dramatic as Mo was accidentally tripped during the race, falling to the floor and then having to catch up with the leaders before finally winning in a enthralling finish. This time Mo dedicated his two Gold medals to his daughter Rhianna and son Hussein to complete the set! To round off an incredible year, Mo was knighted in the Queen’s New Year Honours list for services to Athletics.
In the summer of 2017, Mo completed his last track World T&F Championships in front of his home crowd at the London Stadium, where he secured his tenth Gold and second Silver medals at a global championships.
From the track Mo transitioned onto the roads and targeted the marathon. This new challenge started with a third place finish and new British Record at the 2018 London Marathon, and then went even better with victory and a new European Record of 2:05:11 at the 2018 Chicago Marathon.