Phoenix (SD) – Abdihakim Abdirahman, a 44-year-old man of Somali origin, is one of the athletes running for the United States at the upcoming World Olympic Games in Japan.
Abdirahman is the oldest American athlete to ever compete in a U.S. Olympic team.
“I’m a 44-year-old, and I’m a member of the U.S. Olympic team. I’ll probably be one of the oldest people in the Olympic village, especially in the running events. I’m just representing all those middle-aged men who’s out there who think they cannot run.” he told Inside Edition Digital.
Abdi was born in Somalia and was a child when his family became refugees and eventually settled in Arizona and became U.S. citizens.
“I’m American. I grew up here,” he said. “This country gave me everything that I wanted in life: a free education, five-time Olympian. I am as proud as American, I am as proud as Somali. I’m proud of both two countries,” he told Inside Edition Digital.
Abdi said he started running at college, at a time when his friends were putting pressure him to get involved in sports.
“I went to the Pima College coach, and I told him I would love to run, and he asked me if I ever run before. I told him no. And I came second that day. And that was the beginning of my running career, to be honest,” adding “I never ran in high school at all.”
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