Double Olympic champion Mo Farah has spoken out against President Donald Trump’s immigration policy.
Farah, who was born in Somalia but holds a British passport, initially spoke out when the Trump administration attempted to put a freeze on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries last month. He was in Ethiopia at a training camp and feared he would not be able to return to America.
He trains and lives for some of the year in the United States, and his young family are currently based there.
Speaking at a media event to promote an athletics meeting in the British city of Birmingham at the weekend, Farah said on Friday (February 17) the travel ban was “crazy and unfair”.
“As I said, overnight for me, it directly affected me the policy (that) he came up with,” he told a media conference.
“And it was (important) that I stood up and spoke up and used my profile and made changes. For me, the scary part was living in the U.S. for six years and going to a training camp where everything was going well and overnight hearing the news I can’t go back to see my kids. It was scary for me. It was important I spoke up. There were a lot of innocent people out there, kids, who couldn’t say anything.”
Farah plans to return to the USA in March, and said he is hoping he will be able to get into the country.
“Hopefully we should be fine. I always like to look on the bright side and just get on with life. I am not going back yet. I compete on Saturday and then on Sunday I go back to another training camp. I feel like I need to do a little bit more training. I will go back in March and see my family and at that point we will see.”
Meanwhile Aries Merritt, 2012 Olympic 110m champion, said he disagreed with much of what Trump has been doing.
“Personally I am not a Republican, I am more Democrat. The way his administration has been running is not something that is normal. We have seen a lot of deceit, a lot of lies and slander and nastiness that is going on in this campaign. And it is not something that makes me proud to be an American at this point. Hopefully the Senate and Congress will keep him in check as best they can.”
During the news conference, Farah confirmed he will end his indoor running career with a 5,000 metre race at Saturday’s Birmingham grand prix, the British Olympic champion said on Friday.
“I think tomorrow will be my last track race indoors,” Farah, 33, told a news conference.
The two-times Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 metres champion eventually plans to turn to road racing as he continues his athletics career.
He said last year that 2017 would probably be his final season of running on the track outdoors.
Farah, Britain’s most successful track athlete, defended his Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 metres titles in Rio de Janeiro last year. He has also won five outdoor world championships.