Olympics 2012: Mo Farah exclusive
Mo Farah is one of Britain's favourites for gold inside the Olympic Stadium. On Saturday, he will bid for his first gold in the 10,000m but also has his sights set on the double in the 5,000m next week. Ahead of his bid for Olympic glory, he spoke to Orange...
What's the goal for these Games, is it double gold?
Of course, I want to win both but I don't even know if I'll do both the 10,000m and 5,000m. One gold is better than two silvers so the focus is obviously on my first event, the 10,000m. But I need to remember that an Olympic medal of any colour would be any amazing achievement. It wouldn't be a disaster if I didn't win gold but it's what I've been training to do. I'm going into the Games feeling good. What I'd say is that I never go into a race to finish second.
Can you win both?
I just don't know. I want to. It depends how my body is after the 10,000m. You don't really know for sure until two days after it. It takes a lot out of it, you get a lot of blisters. The UK Athletics medical team did a great job when I ran both in the World Championships but, even then, I ran the 5,000m in a lot of pain.
Who's your major rival for gold - is it Kenenisa Bekele?
I don't just think about Bekele as that would be a mistake. It's me against all the Ethiopians, Kenyans and Ugandans. They've got such strength in depth that to single out one runner is dangerous and there are always surprises.
How tough has it been to get in shape to be a potential gold medallist?
Well, I've moved my family to the United States for one which was a big thing. But I've done a lot of training and competing elsewhere so there have been weeks, months where I've not seen my family. There are times that it's tough as you're living out of a suitcase and just communicating with your family by phone.
Is there a benefit of living in the US in that no one recognises you and you can live in your own pre-Olympic bubble?
I don't think I've been recognised out there once. It's awesome, I just completely chill out.
You've got twins on the way after the Olympics, news of that might have been quite a shock?
I remember when Tania found out she was pregnant I was out training in Kenya. I was home by the time of the scan and we were told there wasn't just one baby in there. It's crazy and we were a bit like "wow" as we looked at each other. But I love kids, it'll be great and it's a fun experience.
You're a massive Arsenal fan. Have you had any messages of support from the club?
Yeah, I'm in contact with a few of them. I went to train with them earlier in the year as well. Honestly, that was the best day of my life. It was last season while Thierry Henry was back on loan at the end of last season. I just couldn't stop smiling as I'm a big fan of his and he's just the nicest guy in the world. I went into the changing rooms and had my own training kit which I put on. I got talking to Henry as well as Andrey Arshavin, Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs. So I had a kickabout with those guys. I also talked to Arsene Wenger as well who sadly wasn't tempted to sign me.
Did you dream about being a footballer or runner then?
Footballer. It's what I loved but a teacher at school pointed out I was better at running. He was right, I feel like I was born to run. I think it was a real battle for my mum as I was one of those really hyper kids just running around the whole time. I loved football, I still do but I was born to run.
You've done some interesting things this year since your success. The Cube springs to mind. How was that?
That was so much fun. I really enjoyed it and couldn't believe I won all that money for charity. I loved it.
Who did the money go to then?
The Mo Farah Foundation, the charity myself and my wife set up. It's aimed to help the less fortunate in Somalia where I was born and other parts of Africa. It's so hard out there and you can see kids' lives being destroyed. I went out there and, as a father, I can't help but think how lucky my daughter is but there were children I saw who were one or two years old and they had nothing, and that really touches your heart.