Olympic star Mo Farah has revealed how he was detained by US customs officials who suspected he was a terrorist, saying that despite his international fame he frequently gets stopped because of his Somali origin.
The long-distance runner showed US officials his gold medals in an attempt to be released from detention but “they wouldn’t have it.”
Mo Farah won two gold medals at the 2012 Olympics
The double gold medallist moved to Britain with his father when he was eight, told the Sun on Sunday: “I couldn’t believe it.
“Because of my Somali origin I get detained every time I come through US customs. This time I even got my medals out to show who I am, but they wouldn’t have it.”
The long-distance runner also said he was “blown away” at being made a CBE, but admits that missing out on a podium spot in the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) was “difficult to get my head around”.
The Team GB poster boy was rewarded for his Olympic efforts in the New Year Honours list, announced yesterday.
“I’m blown away. I’m honoured,” said Farah.
“For me, 2012 is done and it’s time to look ahead. But I’ll never forget what everyone in Team GB achieved.”
The first Briton in history to claim Olympic gold in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres
The honour comes after the popular athlete missed out on a top three position in the SPOTY awards earlier this month, despite coming third last year before his wins at the London Games.
He said: “This year I had achieved the most I possibly could and didn’t even get third again, let alone a higher spot.
“I mean, there’s nothing more I could have done.”
He recognised it was “such a strong year” and praised SPOTY winner Sir Bradley Wiggins as a “phenomenal athlete”.
Farah’s ‘Mobot’ became a London 2012 signature
Farah, who is married to Tania and has three daughters, dedicated his medals to his twin girls born two weeks after he won his second gold medal in the 5,000 metres.
He added: “It’s been a big year. But the best way to end it is with the ones I love.”
He said he thinks he has “four or five” years of competition left in him and hopes to take part in the London marathon, possibly in 2014.