Mo Farah was reportedly detained by US customs on the suspicion that he was a terrorist — even though he was carrying two Olympic gold medals in his suitcase.
Farah is one of the world’s most famous athletes and a hero of Team Great Britain. Border guards hauled him off for questioning, however, when they saw he was born in Somalia.
The Sun reports that Mo stated of the experience:
“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.”
Mo Farah immigrated to Britain with his English-born dad when he was a child. He was pulled aside by customs officials after arriving in Portland, Oregon to spend Christmas with his family.
Farah won the 10,000 meters and 5,000 meters during the London Olympics last summer. He moved to Portland last year to work at Nike’s headquarters, according to Fox Sports. He first revealed his time spent with US customs on Friday, saying that he had also previously ran into problems when he tried to get a residency permit to live in Portland.
Farah spoke about the experience, saying:
“When we tried to get a residency visa, Nike obviously signed it all off and we thought it was going to be straightforward. We were in Portland on a tourist visa so had to leave and re-enter the country as a resident … But when we were there we got a letter telling us we’re under investigation as a terrorist threat and we would have to stay away for 90 days.”
Mo was able to get in touch with his coach, Alberto Salazar, who was able to sort the situation. Salazar had a friend in the FBI who recognized Mo and was able to sort out the situation.
Are you surprised to hear that Mo Farah was detained by US customs on suspicion of being a terrorist.