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‘Haven’t you run before?’, blundering anchor confuses Olympic champ for amateur

31st Mar 2013
‘Haven’t you run before?’, blundering anchor confuses Olympic champ for amateur

Mo Farah gracious as TV anchor asks him if he ran before


Elham Asaad Buaras

Mo Farah’s 5000 and 10,000 metres Olympic gold medals made him a household name everywhere, it seems, apart from a local New Orleans station in the US.

After winning the Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon on February 24, Farah was asked by WSDU presenter, LaTonya Norton, if he had ever run before.

Farah was at first bemused when the presenter asked: “Now haven’t you run before?” Norton repeated the question again, asking, “Haven’t you run before? This isn’t your first time?”

Farah broke into a smile and replied that he had run a half-marathon before, but that this was his first time running in New Orleans.

Not once during the two minute interview did Norton note Farah Olympic pedigree, only ever referring to him as the winner of that half-marathon.

The interview has since gone viral, with many people praising Farah’s polite reaction while ridiculing Norton’s gaffe.

“Dear America, Mo Farah won the Olympics. Regards, the Queen,” Tweeted one viewer.

While another says “True gentleman Mo Farah defends LaTonya Norton’s unforgivable ignorance.”

“So, Daniel Day-Lewis, have you ever acted before?’ #MoFarah”.

“Proof that you should always do your research before an interview!” writes another.

Ever the gentleman Farah, brushed off the faux pas tweeting his followers asking that they stop “being nasty” to Norton
“Just wanna say to everyone being nasty to LaTonya Norton please stop!” he said.

“She made a mistake like we all do! She didn’t mean anything by it.”

A producer at WSDU said that the recording had been taken out of context insisting Norton “knew he [Farah] was an Olympian”. Norton, the producer explained, had been asking Farah not whether he had run at all, but whether this was his first time pounding the pavement in New Orleans.

However, in an official statement WSDU management issued an apology: “We regret our unfortunate phrasing of questions posed to Mr Mo Farah following his impressive victory in this past weekend’s Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon in New Orleans and for not acknowledging his status as an Olympic champion.

“We express our sincere apology to Mr Farah and his many fans who may have been offended by our error. We hope that Mr Farah will have occasion to visit New Orleans again and that we may have the opportunity to apologise in person.

Mo Farah gracious as TV anchor asks him if he ran before


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Sectarianism in the Middle East and its rise in the UK, Standpoint, Sahar TV. Interview 29 May 2013 and aired on 12 June 2013

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