United States Olympic runner Lopez Lamong spoke to students at Cornerstone University on Wednesday, September 10 about his journey to success. Although he is now a Nike-sponsored runner with worldwide notoriety in his respective events, he has not always lived such a privileged life.
Lamong came to the United States after spending 10 years in a South Sudanese refugee camp. As a boy he was a victim of the Second Sudanese Civil War, and came to the United States as a refugee via Catholic Charities. He quickly recognized his talent as a runner and became inspired to run track and field after watching Michael Johnson run in the 2000 Summer Olympics. Eight years later he was running in the 2008 Summer Olympics as a United States citizen.
When he made the team he told reporters, “Now I’m not just one of the ‘Lost Boys.’ I am an American.”
Chosen as a captain for the US Olympic Team in 2008 he made us proud here at home, placing 5th in the 800m final and also competing in the 1,500m. In 2012 he made his second Olympic tam and placed 10th in the 5,000m.
“This is what I want to do,” he said. “I want to represent the United States and I want to give them a gift of a medal for all they have done.”
Lamong continues to train to give us that gift of a medal, but what he should know is that just having him as a fellow citizen is a gift in itself, and is more than enough to satisfy us here at home. He wants to thank us, but with all our heart, we thank him. Thank you, Lopez Lamong. You inspire us, and you remind us what a privilege it is to live in a country that provides such unbelievable freedom and opportunity to all who seek it.
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Watch Lopez Lamong Speak about his incredible Story: