In Ethiopia, at an altitude of 2,700 metres, Abdi and Abdi, as they are now affectionately known, have been imitating preparations for the Olympic Games for the past two months. They train at Yaya Village, the training center founded by legend Haile Gebrselassie in 2009.
There the two were joined by Mo Farah, another Somali who fled to Europe. The four-time Olympic champion, who plays for the Great Britain national team, is working on his recovery on the Ethiopian plateau after a serious foot injury.
“We really need each other,” Nagy says of Abdi. A tough runner with unwavering confidence in his last race, he learns a lot from Abdi, the dedicated athlete for whom his training schedules are sacred. It is a typical example of opposites attract. “We really compliment each other in all areas. I wouldn’t have gotten this far on my own.”
They also share the dream they both had in Rotterdam. “In 2010 I was faced with a choice,” Nagyi recalls. “Do I focus on more education, or do I put everything into athletics? I left for Kenya and decided to see where the ship would go. And see where I am now.”
With his victory in Rotterdam, he really wants to say this. “Keep dreaming. Keep believing in yourself.”
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