Tag Archive: Mo Farah

Immigration may seem a peculiar topic when talking about sport, but it is a subject that has been on my mind since Mo Farah became one of Britain’s most beloved sporting stars.

Icon | Mo Farah is idolised as a British sporting hero, putting him in the 'good immigration' bracket. (Image | NME)

Icon | Mo Farah is idolised as a British sporting hero, putting him in the ‘good immigration’ bracket. (Image | NME)

Few in this country will forget the sight of Farah winning gold in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at the London 2012 Olympic Games: yet after the latter victory, Somali-born Farah had to deal with a journalist asking if he would have preferred to have run for Somalia, rather than Britain.

The 30-year-old gave the question short shrift, and has since developed into a sporting superstar, building on last year’s gold medals with two more at the World Athletics Championships last month.

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The World Championships in Athletics that follow an Olympic Games can often have the feeling of “going into the office the morning after the work Christmas party”. A bit of a let down following the thrill of the main event.

Expectation | As at the 2012 London Olympic Games, all eyes will be on Mo Farah, the main hope for British glory. (Image | Daily Express)

Expectation | As at the 2012 London Olympic Games, all eyes will be on Mo Farah, the main hope for British glory. (Image | Daily Express)

All the effort that went into the preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games can drain an athlete, both physically and psychologically. Where do you go once you have climbed Mount Everest?

For the world’s premier track and field athletes, they head to Moscow for the 2013 World Championships. From a British perspective, this is not a meet to be anticipated with a great deal of confidence.

Of the trio that brought us that magic hour last summer, Jessica Ennis-Hill is absent with injury, while Greg Rutherford has suffered injury problems, and struggled for form all year. Only Mo Farah heads to Moscow looking like a potential world champion in waiting.

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I love the Olympic Stadium: the sheer majesty of the arena, and the fact that Britain has something approaching its very own sporting citadel. It stands as proof positive that the country is capable of building high-profile arenas on time, and on budget, after the shambles that was, and is, Wembley Stadium.

Full house | A year on from the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Olympic Stadium remains a special place. (Image | CBBC)

Full house | A year on from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Olympic Stadium remains a truly special place, but one fraught with problems and contradictions. (Image | CBBC)

I love the sense of reverence you can feel from people as they make their way to the stadium. An intangible feeling of being part of something that is bigger than themselves.

I love the piquant aroma of positivity that seems to emerge from the place, like a perfume counter, making all that are in it feel a little more optimistic about life.

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Tough call | The line up for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2012 could look rather like an early release of the New Year’s honours list. (Image | BBC)

Normally there is a shoe-in for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. Either that, or a dark horse is chosen once in a blue moon, as Ryan Giggs was back in 2009. By definition, the award recognises the sportsperson “whose actions have most captured the public’s imagination”. Created back in 1954, the titular category has rewarded figures from the world of athletics more than any other discipline, with 17 individuals selected in first place having been athletes.

With Team GB having excelled in a variety of areas across the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, this is likely to continue. However, the success of individuals from the home nations leaves what Premier League managers would describe as a “headache”, a conundrum. It is a rather nice problem to have, it must be said.

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“Official and souvenir programmes…” | For the past month and a half, I have been selling programmes predominantly inside the Olympic Park. (Image | Metro)

On Monday London 2012 came to an end with another outpouring of support, exhilaration and sheer joy at the achievements of Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes on the victory parade, which stretched across London from Mansion House to The Mall, for many culminating at Trafalgar Square. With the eyes of Admiral Horatio Nelson fixed upon the thousands gathered in the streets, on pavements, within glass buildings lining The Strand and even on rooftops, the country celebrated its greatest ever team.

This is no longer an advertising slogan. At the start some may have been suspicious of the hype. Naysayers and doom-mongerers predicted that the Games would be a disaster.

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The greatest day

Under huge pressure as the ‘poster girl’ of London 2012, Jess Ennis delivered in emphatic fashion for Team GB (Image | Getty)

Caught your breath yet? Good, then I’ll begin. Saturday, 4 August 2012. If there’s been a better day in the history of British sport, then those that were there to see it were seriously lucky.

The schedulers for the track and field programme of the Olympics knew what they were doing. Arranging for Mo Farah to run in the 10,000m final, mere minutes after Jessica Ennis finished in the heptathlon was a calculated risk. Bank on Ennis to win gold at her maiden Olympic Games, and use the fan enthusiasm that would surely follow to act as an aid to Farah.

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