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.