LONDON – The four-time Olympic champion, Mo Farah, has been humiliated by a flight attendant during his journey back from Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
The incident occurred while Farah was singled-out by a flight attendant who refused to recognize that he had a business class ticket for the journey back from Rio.
“This woman basically humiliated him until people came forward and said: ‘That’s Mo Farah, the Olympic champion…’ She was mortified afterwards, but had basically yelled at him like he was a piece of s— to get back into line,” Tania Farah, the wife of the four-time Olympian told Sunday Telegraph on September 11.
“He was the only black person [in the queue] and hadn’t done anything to warrant it. I just knew she had a problem with him.”
The alleged incident on August 22, as the couple and their four children waited to board a 9.35am connecting flight from Atlanta, Georgia to their home in Portland, Oregon.
Farah, who won 4 gold medals for Team GB in London and Rio Olympic Games, was carrying a Team GB holdall, witnesses said, while his stepdaughter, Rhianna, 11, clutched a Pride the Lion Team GB mascot.
The family were finally allowed onto the aeroplane when a second official intervened. Once aboard, they were applauded by passengers.
A Delta Airlines spokesman said: “We are investigating this situation and will be working directly with the Farah family.”
He added that the company “takes precautions to protect customer data and information”.
The British athlete, a practicing Muslim, usually performs sujud prayer after each race.
He is now a nine-time global champion, moving him above Ethiopian great Kenenisa Bekele.
Farah had already achieved the World Championships ‘double double’, successfully defending his 10,000m and 5,000m titles in Beijing last year.
For many, Farah’s prayer can help counter the damaging stereotypes of Muslims held by many around the world, with his Muslim faith being central to his excellence in sport.
Despite Mo’s success, his wife Tania shared concerns on revealing that she was a Muslim.
“Religion is important to us despite how it might look, ” she explained.
“We don’t pray five times a day, but we certainly follow the main fundamentals of the religion, especially for our kids.
“I’m sometimes a bit wary of telling people I’m a Muslim because I’m worried of how they might view me. It sounds terrible because I should be proud and I am, but I’m also conscious of how we’re viewed nowadays.
“The more people can give a positive image for Islam the better because we so need it and we’re all about peace,” she added.