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Twin Ambitions By Mo Farah

Release date: 10th October, 2013
Publisher: Hodder & Staughton

List Price: £20.00
Our Price: £9.99
You Save: £10.01 (50%)
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Although we’re a sport-loving nation, our affections are often divided and splintered, particularly where club allegiances are involved. Given this understandable, if occasionally unpalatable, sporting truth, it’s a joy to recall a day, nay, a month, in the recent past when Britons cheered as one.

A palpable sense of unity was evident throughout the summer of 2012. The national spirit enjoyed a much-needed lift as Olympians and Paralympians secured an unprecedented medal haul. But can it really be 15 months since we rose in unison to celebrate what has been described as the greatest day in British sport?

Earlier in the day, Team GB won two golds and a silver at Eton Dornay, then the women's pursuit cyclists broke the world record for a fifth time to qualify for their gold medal match.

Our sporting aperitif had been served and gleefully consumed, but it was the evening of 4th August 2012 which John Inverdale memorably described as being "like the last night of the Proms times a hundred."

In the space of an hour that Saturday night, Greg Rutherford, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah each won gold during the most inspirational, uplifting, Olympic session of all. More than 60 million folks greeted each success with screams and cheers heard across the land.

Great Britain has taken Mo Farah to its collective heart – it’s a love reciprocated by a man who arrived here from Djibouti as an 8 year-old, a young boy already displaced from Somaliland.

With his father working in London, Farah, his mother and siblings, left the town of Gebilay just before civil war erupted. Though safe in Djibouti, back home, water wells were being blown up, cities flattened and grazing grounds burned.

Twin Ambitions is a reference to the twin brother, Hassan, from whom Mo was separated for almost twelve years, but readers may also interpret the book’s title as Mo’s pursuit of the twin athletic crowns – Olympic and world champion – he has secured at both 5,000 and 10,000 metres.

Twin Ambitions succeeds because it encompasses more serious facets than most sporting biographies. It’s difficult for most of us to comprehend what it must be like leaving your home to avoid the outbreak of civil war – though Farah is almost nonchalant when explaining his fate. Fortunately, we can associate with his sporting success, which means it’s a joy to re-live those special moments when a man from Somalia succeeded in getting millions of Britons off their feet and cheering him down the home straight. Magic.


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