Mo Farah after crossing the finish line at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon. The four-time Olympic gold medalist joined an elite line-up in Larne, County Antrim. (Photo of )
Justin Kernoghan | PA Images via Getty Images
Sports legend Mo Farah told CNBC that racism in sports “should not be tolerated” and educating the next generation can help address the problem.
The four-time long-distance Olympic champion, who left home in war-torn Somalia and moved to the UK at the age of 8, said: “Sport is the only thing that brings people together.”
“It’s important for us to stand up and get on with the work we’re doing and give people hope and keep changing, and I think it’s changing … but you will find challenges in everything,” Farah said .
On the latest installment of CNBC’s “The Leadership League,” the internationally recognized track star said it was important to educate your own four children about racism.
“It is really important that I be honest with my children and keep them educating,” he said.
“For me, my kids have values … it’s not about color, it’s not about religion, it’s not about the color of their hair … just respect people and move on with them,” he added.
Farah, who won several world and European titles during his illustrious career, made Olympic history after winning gold medals in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters on his home turf at the London 2012 Olympics.
He sealed his Olympic legacy after winning gold medals at the 2016 Rio Games four years later.
Great Britain’s pace setter Mo Farah in action during the men’s elite race during the Virgin Money London Marathon around St. James’ Park.
Adam Davy | PA Images via Getty Images
The athletics superstar retired from athletics in 2017 to take on a new marathon challenge. But in 2019 Farah announced that he would return to the track to defend his 10,000 meter title at the Tokyo Games.
The games are set to run from July 23 to August 8, 2021 after being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On Sunday, Japan allowed its first 100% capacity crowd at a sporting event since coronavirus restrictions began. The event took place at Yokohama Stadium, which is said to be the Olympic venue for softball and baseball events.
The country is testing a number of different strategies and technologies that it Hopes will ensure that they can deliver safe Olympics for both athletes and spectators.
To date, more than 104,000 people in Japan have contracted the coronavirus, with 1,800 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Farah told CNBC that he was “disappointed” when the Tokyo Games were postponed, but he believes they will hopefully continue with the viewers next year.
“I think the Olympics are going to happen and that is something I am aiming for,” he said.
“Without the crowd it would be difficult, that gives me the boost, gives me energy, gives me faith, so we need the crowd and … hopefully we will,” he added.
Farah said that although he continued to break records and win the 2018 U.S. Chicago Marathon, he missed the race on the track.
On his recent return to athletics at the Diamond League meeting in Brussels, Belgium in September, the 37-year-old set a world record for the hour-long run, covering 21,330 meters in one hour.
Farah, whose record-breaking career began with the support of his school gym teacher Alan Watkinson, also told CNBC he was a firm believer in grassroots initiatives.
The track master says he has already completed his coaching license so that he can give something back to his sport in the future.
“I want to be able to give back to the younger generation. I think I and other athletes need to get involved and keep encouraging them,” he said.