When British distance runner Mohamed Farah (nickname “Fly Mo“) ran across the finish line well ahead of the pack during the final heat of the 10,000-meter run on the final day of the Summer Olympics in London, he did his signature pose encircling his arms towards his head, symbolizing the two gold medals he is taking home from the Games.
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An equally beautiful sight was that of him embracing his step-daughter, Rihanna, and pregnant wife, Tania Farah. But the moment wasn’t without a minor controversy.
When he jogged towards her in the stands, she welcomed him with open arms and a British flag with his nickname on it. But an official nearby apparently took issue with it and asked that she put it away. Tania wasn’t please with the request and seem to dispute the official’s reasoning.
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Eventually, Farah gave his wife a kiss, ending the short dispute. Some observers believe the words on the flag “Fly Mo,” could appear to advertise the lawnmower firm, “Flymo,” a non-Olympic sponsor.
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Farah provided his own explanation:
‘She [Tania] got told off for going on the track. They were like, ‘‘no, you stay there’’. There was this guy giving her a hard time about it.
‘She wasn’t going to go on the track but all she wanted was to spend a bit of time with me, but then the guy was telling me to ‘‘make a move, make a move’’. I was like, ‘‘Come on, give us a minute’’.’
A spokesman for Locog said official rules meant families were not allowed on the track, but there were no rules banning athletes from carrying unofficial or customized flags during their lap of honor.
Farah is a huge star in his adoptive Britain where moved from Somalia at age eight. London has two gold-painted post boxes around town in honor of his two Olympic gold medals: one in Iselworth, where he grew up, and the other in Teddington, in south west London, where Farah trains.
Tania and Mo met at Feltham Community College in West London. Tania’s mother Nadia Nell, 51, said the two had great chemistry. “Tania was a couple of years below him at school, but I think he always liked her and they’d hang out a lot together.”
After college, they went their own ways. During that time, Tania gave birth to Rihanna. They eventually reconnected and married in April of 2010. The family now lives near Portland, Oregon where he trains.
Entering the London Games, Farah’s goal was to win a gold medal for each of his two unborn twin children. It was a goal he accomplished in grand fashion.