Distance-running phenom Mo Farah—the Brit who just won double Gold (5,000M / 10,000M) at the 2012 London Games—has likely run countless races and been interviewed countless times over the course of his career. I’m guessing that eventually the post-race interview gets to be rather typical. Even routine.
But the interview he experienced this past weekend after winning the half marathon in the New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series was anything but typical or routine.
After clocking a new course record of 61 minutes, Farah spoke with TV anchor LaTonya Norton from WDSU in New Orleans. This is an interview you have to see firsthand:
Yes, this is for real. Based on Norton’s questions and comments, it’s safe to say she’s not a runner.
Remarkably, Farah responded to Norton with extreme grace—explaining that he had, indeed, run before (at that little-known event, the Olympics) and that this race was not actually a marathon (we’ll blame the Rock-n-Roll series for that confusion).
Farah’s fans, however, weren’t as gracious. They took to Twitter and other outlets and belittled Norton. It got rather ugly.But then Farah stepped in to calm the social media storm with this Tweet:
Wow. The way Farah stepped in on Norton’s behalf is impressive.
As a runner, I’ve followed Farah over the past few years. In post-race interviews, he is extremely likable and is known as a committed Muslim. He has been called “the modest man of middle-distance running and a gentleman of the sporting world.”
As a Christian, I see Farah’s manner as a bright example of God’s common grace. Timothy Keller explains in Every Good Endeavor that “many of the gifts God has put in the world are given to nonbelievers” and Christians “can appreciate truth and wisdom wherever we find them.” (191) Farah’s ongoing kindness and grace toward Norton in this situation point to the gifts of God has given him. And I appreciate the truth and wisdom that I find in Farah’s response to this odd (yet humorous) interview.