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Meb Keflezighi Visits The White House

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Sep. 18, 2012
  • Updated Sep. 18, 2012 at 9:57 AM UTC

He got to shake the hand of one of his heroes. 

Even though he didn’t win an Olympic medal in London, American distance-running legend Meb Keflezighi ended up at the White House recently to meet President Obama.

“I kind of fell into it by accident,” Keflezighi said with a broad smile. “And now look at me.”

The 37-year-old’s road to success has been anything but easy. He immigrated to the U.S. with his family from war-torn Eritrea.

“I just ran as hard as I could to get an A because that’s what my parents expected of me,” he now says.

In 2004, Keflezighi realized success: a silver medal at the Olympics in Athens. But things turned south from there when he broke his hip training for the 2008 Olympic Trials. Even though he didn’t make the team for that cycle, he still finished eighth at the Olympic Trials.

Fast-forward to 2012 and it was a healthy Keflezighi who won the U.S. Olympic Trials in January.

At the Olympic Games marathon, he put forth a heroic effort, coming from behind to ultimately finish fourth.

For More: CNN

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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