10 Questions with Lopez Lomong (2x US Olympic Athlete)

Welcome to 5 Questions With.....

Except you'll notice that today it is again 10 questions. That's right! This is yet another Super-Sized edition of the 5 Question feature.

Today's guest is Lopez Lomong. Lopez was a barefoot lost boy of the Sudanese Civil War. He eventually made it to the US where he became an American citizen and graduated from Northern Arizona University. He is a 2x Olympic Athlete. He recently wrote his biography, Running For My Life. This is a book you must read!

Before reading his interview, why not check out this video of Lopez:

Let's get to it:

1. Your book, Running For My Life, tells of your abduction from church in Sudan at the age of 6. How hard was it to recount that period of your life?

It was very hard because in one second I lost my family, my childhood, and everything that had once made me happy. It is hard to think back on that time because I felt a sense of loss and hopelessness.

2. You ran for your life and ended up in Kenya where you became a refugee for 10 years. Did you ever feel like giving up hope?

Although life was terrible in the camp, I felt a sense of responsibility for the 10 young boys in my tent that became my family. We empowered each other with our companionship and gave each other a reason to keep fighting. We did not have anywhere to go or any alternative so the importance of having these 10 boys was critical.

3. It was while at the refugee camp that you drew closer to the Lord correct?

Not exactly. God played a role throughout my entire life. It was not one moment or one incident that drew me close to the Lord, but rather his constant hand in my life. Although I had a little bit more formal religious education in the camp, I prayed throughout my entire journey and that is where I found my closeness.

4. You came to the US at 16. What was the hardest part of adjusting to life in the US?

Culture was the biggest shock. At 16 I was so used to the culture in the refugee camp. I also wanted very badly to be seen as an American rather than an immigrant. Also it was my first time ever going to school, so that was a huge adjustment. Another big adjustment was thinking of myself as a child again - although it was the most amazing thing to have a family again, I had to get used to the reality that they cared for me and were here to love me and guide me.

5. How do you feel the Lord watched over you during this time?

God put me in a family that loves me unconditionally and helped me find a place where I was accepted and at home. I finally felt a true sense of peace with my family for the first time in a long time. It was a blessing!

6. You went to college and never gave up on your dream to be an Olympic athlete. How special was it to make the 2008 Olympic team?

It was very special. It was an opportunity to represent and give thanks to a country that had taken me in. It was incredible to have a country that I was proud of and an identity! Carrying the American Flag in at the Opening Ceremony was one of my most proud achievements - it was my dream come true. I was not longer a "lost boy" but a person with a country and an ambassador through sport.

7. God seemed to give you a platform to tell your story during the Olympics. Do you feel that running is gift from Him?

Absolutely. I am so blessed to have this talent. My legs once saved my life and now running is my platform to speak about what still needs to be done to keep children from struggling as I did in South Sudan. I use this platform to be voice of the children in South Sudan who are not heard in their struggles.

8. What can you tell me about your partnership with World Vision?

I recently started my foundation - Lopez Lomong Foundation - with the 4 South Sudan program to target clean water, health care, education, and nutrition for the people of South Sudan. World Vision is a great partner in supporting my cause logistically as they have a huge amount of human resources and experience working in South Sudan. They are a key part of implementing the projects that I design and fundraise for. http://lopezlomong.com/foundation/

9. What is the main work of the Lopez Lomong Foundation?

The main project is 4 South Sudan focusing on 4 basic needs - clean water, education, nutrition, and health care.

10. How did it feel to make the 2012 Olympic team?

It was incredible. I was so proud to join a second team and have another opportunity to represent my country in a second Olympics. It was a huge accomplishment to be on this international stage once again. I am looking forward to Rio 2016 as well!!

Thank you so much for taking the time to do Lopez!

Thank you so much and please let me know if there is ever any other way I can help! - Lopez

You can read more about Lopez Lomong's life in his new book, Running For My Life, and please check out his website: http://www.lopezlomong.com

To see past 5 Questions guests see the 5 questions page under the tab above.

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