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President Trump’s new travel bans angers Olympic runners

Posted by Betonline Team on 2/1/2017 12:04:01 AM
President Trump’s new travel bans angers Olympic runners

On the final day of the 2008 Summer Olympic trials, three men showed what American inclusion was all about in the 1,500-meter race.

Bernard Lagat, who came to the USA from Kenya, won the race. Next came Leo Manzano whose family immigrated from Mexico and finally Lopez Lomong, one of the Lost Boys of Kenya qualified for the Russian Olympics.

It showed how a nation of inclusion could thrive in athletics. They all became naturalized citizens.

The chances of this happening again were reduced with President Trump’s temporary travel ban of several predominately Muslim countries, including Sudan. He is also building a wall on the United States-Mexican border to make it more difficult for Mexicans to enter the United States.

The executive orders have brought protests from around the country.

That brings fear to Lomong who probably won’t be able to visit his family in Sudan and fears that his brothers who are runners in the United States, might be deported.

“When I saw the news I cried,” Lomong told SI.com. “I was very emotional about it. What if that document had been signed in 2001? Where would I be? I’d have no career. I would have no degree. I’d probably be dead.”

Younger brothers Peter and Alex are college runners on student visas. Peter attends Northern Arizona and Alex is at Ohio State.

“I don’t want to have to think about my brothers getting rounded up and deported,” Lopez said. “They have grown up here.

They have friends here. They speak English, and they don’t even speak the language of our country. If they have to go back, they will end up dying there.”

Lagat came over from Kenya and attending Washington State University. He went on to win the 1,500 bronze medal during the 2000 Olympics and took silver in the 2004 Athens Games. He is retiring from track and field and wants to concentrate on road races at age 41.

Lomong ran at Northern Arizona University where he won several NCAA titles. He wants others from his country and others to get the same opportunity he did.

“This is a country I love,” he said. “We are a land of immigrants. It’s our diversity that makes us strong. What a fantastic thing it is to have that as a strength. We are a place that welcomes everybody. America allowed me to make friends who are still my friends today. America allowed me to pursue my dream of an education and life and my hobby of running.”

Mo Farah attacked Trumps policy also. He is a British distance runner from Somalia but trains in the United States and lives in Oregon. He is a four-time gold medalist and won the 5,000 and 10,000 gold medals in Brazil.

He wrote on Facebook: “ On 1st January, her majesty the queen made me a night of the rhelm. On 27th January President Trump seems to have made me an alien. It’s deeply troubling that I will have to tell my children that daddy might not be able to come home – to explain why the president has introduced a policy that comes from a place of ignorance and prejudice.”

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