5 Things to Know about Meb Keflezighi, U.S. Olympian
There’s a lot more to this U.S. Olympian than running the marathon.
By Dick Quagliano
This article is sponsored by Citi
Meb Keflezighi will be competing for gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games this summer.
Here are five interesting things to know about the man they call “Marathon Meb”:
He was born in a country with a population a fraction of California’s size: Meb was born in 1975 in Eritrea, which is just north of Ethiopia on the continent of Africa. He immigrated to San Diego in 1987 with his 10 siblings and became a U.S. citizen in July 1998.
His sport has a very long history: Meb runs the marathon, the oldest and most difficult of all the Olympic track races. The distance measures 26.2 miles. The race traces its existence to the Greek Battle of Marathon, during which a runner returned to Athens to declare victory over the Persians and then collapsed and died.
He already has an Olympic medal: When Meb won the silver medal at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, he became the first American to medal in the marathon since Frank Shorter, who won the silver medal at the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games. The last American to win the gold medal in the marathon was Johnny Hayes in London in 1908.
He’s a family man who also enjoys other sports in his leisure time: Meb is married to Yordanos Asgedom, whom he met on a trip to Eritrea for a soccer tournament in 2004. The couple has three daughters Sara, Fiyori and Yohana. Meb also is a huge basketball fan and was named an honorary captain for the Houston Rockets in 2003.
He’s charitable: Meb supports the United States Olympic Committee Sport Performance Fellowship through the Citi Every Step of the WaySM program. He attributes his success in part to the staff at the USOC Sport Performance Center, who helped him recover after injury.
Meb has joined with Citi to support the USOC Sport Performance Fellowship. He is one of 13 athletes whom Citi is sponsoring in its Every Step of the Way program. This innovative digital program benefits U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and athletes of all ages in communities across America by allowing fans to help allocate Citi’s ThankYou® Points to Sport Programs through activity on Facebook and Twitter, giving Team Citi athletes the chance to say "thank you" to the Sport Programs that have inspired them.
Citi, a sponsor of Team USA, has launched its Every Step of the Way program with a $500,000 donation to the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), represented by 50 million ThankYou® Points - the currency of Citi ThankYou Rewards. The unique Every Step of the Way program allows fans to help allocate these ThankYou Points to Sport Programs through activity on Facebook and Twitter.
The more fans participate through Facebook and Twitter, the more ThankYou Points they can direct to their Sport Program of choice, until its goal is reached. At the end of the program, the USOC will use Citi's donation to give the cash equivalent of the ThankYou Points directly to the Sport Program matched with the Team Citi athlete.
Support Meb’s quest for gold and the USOC Sport Performance Fellowship through the Every Step of the Way Application on Facebook. Follow Meb on Twitter.
Received on Fri Jun 29 2012 - 14:16:11 EDT