LONDON: Olympic Games star Mo Farah revealed that he was brought to the United Kingdom illegally as a child and forced to work as a domestic servant.
The first UK citizen to win four Olympic gold medals in track and field, the 39-year-old, in a BBC documentary, said that his real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin and added that he was given the name Mohamed Farah by those who flew him over from Djibouti.
He was flown over from the East African country aged nine by a woman he had never met and was then made to look after another family’s children. “The truth is I am not who you think I am,” Farah said in a documentary. “Most people know me as Mo Farah, but it is not my name or it is not the reality.”
The legendary athlete revealed that his father had been killed in Somalia’s civil war when he was only four years old and that he had been separated from his mother before coming to the UK. A woman told him that he was being taken to Europe to live with relatives, but when he arrived in the UK, she took “a piece of paper from him that had his relatives’ contact details, ripped it up and put it in the bin”.
Farah, a specialist in 5,000 and 10,000 metre races who also won six gold medals at the World Championships, said that with physical education teacher Alan Watkinson’s intervention, he went to live with his mother’s friend, with whom he stayed for seven years. He was recognised as a UK citizen in 2000.