Two-time U.S. Olympic runner Lopez Lomong comes to the CA Campus on October 9, 2013, at 5:30 p.m. to meet with students and parents as part of CA’s SPEAK lecture events. Lomong has achieved what many would consider the impossible. From a boy of six taken from his parents by the Sudanese Rebel Army to competing in the Beijing and London Olympics, Lomong’s life and career have shown that the capacity to achieve in the face of extreme adversity can be indomitable.
In 1991, Lomong’s family fled Kimotong, Sudan, on foot to avoid an attack by the militia group, the Janjaweed. Lomong and his family ran for three days in the African wilderness to avoid the attackers. After being separated from his family upon arrival at the Sudan-Kenya border, he lived in a refugee camp run by Catholic missionaries for ten years. Despite being separated from his family as one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan,” Lomong says he is considered one of the lucky children as thousands of boys drowned, were eaten by wild animals or were shot by military forces. An essay that he wrote in 2001 about what he would strive to accomplish if he lived in America prompted officials to give him that chance. Lomong was moved to the U.S. to live with a foster family in Tully, N.Y., and became one of the 3,800 resettled youngsters known as the “Lost Boys of Sudan.”
In 2007, Lomong became a professional runner and in 2008, after becoming a U.S. citizen, he made the U.S. Olympic team. At the Beijing Olympics, Lomong was voted by his fellow countrymen to carry the U.S. flag in the opening ceremonies, and he went on make it to the semi-finals of the 1500m.
Lopez will share his remarkable story of what it took to accomplish his American dream, and will talk about what can be done in the Sudan to give hope and opportunities to people who started out just like him. CA has invited Denver’s Justin Aguer Mayen Thiok, head of the South Sudanese Community Association of Colorado to provide an introduction.
In an effort to give back, Lomong was named the Visa Humanitarian of the Year in 2012 for establishing the Lopez Lomong Foundation and teaming with World Vision to launch the 4 South Sudan campaign to provide access to clean water, offer families basic health care, give children access to education and provide life-saving nutrition.
At the end of the evening, Lomong will sign copies of his book Running for My Life, about the American dream come true and a stark reminder that saving one can help to save thousands more. To attend, please RSVP via the CA website. Click here for a short TV documentary from ESPN.