A powerful and gripping human story of the 2012 London Olympics hero
4 August, 2012. Super Saturday. On the most electric night in the history of British sport, Mo Farah braved the pain and punishment to seize Olympic gold in the 10,000m - and in the process went from being a talented athlete to a national treasure. Seven days later, Mo seized his second gold at the 5000m to go where no British distance runner has gone before.
Records have tumbled before him: European track records at 1500m, 5000m indoors, and 10,000m; British track records at 5000m, 3000m indoors and 10k on the road have all fallen to Mohamed 'Mo' Farah: the boy from Somalia who came to Britain at the age of eight, leaving behind his twin brother, and with just a few words of English, and a natural talent for running.
His secondary school PE teacher Alan Watkinson spotted his potential and began easing this human gazelle towards the racetrack. In 2001 Mo showed his promise by winning the 5000m at the European Junior Championships. Soon he was smashing a string of British and European records. He began living with a group of elite Kenyan runners, following their strict regime of run, sleep, eat and rest. Mo was determined to leave no stone uncovered in his bid for distance-running glory.
After a disappointing Olympics in Beijing Mo took the bold decision to relocate to Portland, Oregon to work under legendary coach Alberto Salazar. The results were emphatic as Mo took silver at the 10,000m and then raced to gold in the 5000m at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu. Even better would soon follow at London 2012.
Twin Ambitions is much more than an autobiography by a great Olympic champion. It's a moving human story of a man who grew up in difficult circumstances, separated from his family at an early age, who struggled to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and realise his dream.
About the Author
Sir Mo Farah was born in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1983. As a young child he spent time in Djibouti before moving to England at the age of eight. Mo initially struggled with the language barrier, but his PE teacher at Feltham Community College, Alan Watkinson, quickly spotted his potential as a runner and encouraged him to join Borough of Hounslow Athletics Club. After attending St Mary's Endurance Performance and Coaching Centre in Twickenham, Mo became a professional athlete. At the 2012 London Olympic Games he won gold in the 10,000m - Britain's first gold in this event.
He followed this up with a stunning victory in the 5000m to become, in the words of Dave Moorcroft, 'the greatest male distance runner that Britain has ever seen.' Mo was appointed CBE in the Honours List in 2013 and in December 2016 he was awarded a knighthood in the Queen's New Year's Honours list. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Tania, and their three daughters Rhianna, Aisha and Amani.
A terrific read The Independent
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 10th April 2014
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.0 x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.31
Edition Number: 1