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4.6 out of 5 stars
Twin Ambitions - My Autobiography
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2013
Read this book during a flight from London to Doha-excellent book! I could not stop reading it from start to finish and loved it. I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to know the true Mo Farah, not the one that the Dailymail and alike would want to you to believe. This guy came from nowhere to somewhere, in terms of his career development and professionalism, thank to his dedications and help from a lot of people and as a result created history in many ways. No doubt about this. In the book he comes across as an honest (admitted his mistakes in life + admitted his dyslexia); appreciative (mentioned people who contributed to his success); family man (loyal to his wife although I’d have loved him to say a bit more about her background); committed (once he decided to be an athlete he was fully committed to it, no ifs no buts); hard-worker (my God how could someone runs 120-150 miles per wk, and traveled to Kenya, Ethiopia and the US to advance his career); visionary and a good planner (to be honest these could largely be attributed to his coaches); good decision maker (got rid one of his coaches when needed), and has sense of responsibility (set up the Mo Foundation to help poor and disadvantaged people both in the UK and the Horn of Africa).

I liked his appreciations and frankness on what the UK, as a country, offered to him -just like him I'm also originally from Somalia (around same age as him) so I can relate to myself a lot of things that Mo mentioned in the book-although I thought he could be accused of exaggerating few things here and there(generalizing certain aspects of his experiences to the entire community). Another limitation I found in the book is his indirect 'promotion' of Somaliland cause. Mo correctly mentioned that 'Somaliland' is a breakaway region in Somalia and internationally no country recognizes it as a state. But Mo kept referring Somaliland as a country alongside Somalia. In my view, this could have two potential problems: A) confuse readers , B) Drag Mo and his reputation into a deeply divisive issue. Make no mistake, I admit and in fact admirer/proud of what the people in the 'Somaliland' region did over the past 20 years -in self-governing and keeping peace-, but people need to know one simple fact: that Somaliland is not a country, but rather a region of Somalia State. In my view these limitations can be blamed on his PR team rather than this wonderful human being.

Just buy the book and I can assure you that you’ll not be disappointed-a true human story. Recommend it particularly for teachers, community workers and parents.

Mo is a true hero an inspirational to a lot of disadvantage pupils in the UK and ethnic Somalis around the world are proud of your achievements. Best of luck.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 October 2013
I really enjoyed this book...a suprisingly interesting read......its good to find out about where a person came from and it shows what a humble man he is... 5* great read..
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 2013
I am a huge fan of Mo Farah; this is the autobiography I have been waiting for with great anticipation since London 2012. With the number of athletes autobiographies and great performances coming from post London 2012 my expectations were high. This book delivers. This is one of the best books I have read all year. If you are just a casual fan his or just want to know more about the training, achievements, dedication, sacrifices and rewards of one of the greatest distance runner of our generation, this book will push you the rest of the converting anyone to a full-fledged fan. As a British Muslim as well I respect and applaud Mo's for keeping to his beliefs, but not forcing them on anyone else at the same time respecting other people's beliefs and opinions.

Every time I had seen Mo on TV racing or being interviewed he has always been smiling, polite and dignified. Even in the infamous post marathon interview where the presenter had no idea who he was. When I watched I though he showed his class by trying not to embarrass the lady. He does talk about the incident in the book, and once again show what a classy person he is. Having said that it was nice to see the more private side of Mo's personality the mischievous, daredevil, mick taker as well. I don't know if it is from being a twin but doubles and the number 2 seem to follow Mo around a lot in his championships. Being one of the few men to be double, double champion is evident of this.

The book starts off from young days in Somalia, and his introduction to running with his hilarious adventures trying to watch the The Mysterious Cities Of Gold: The Complete Series BBC (slim-line version) [DVD], (great show I had a much easier time watching it but I can understand why he was so obsessed with it). Mo's writing style mirrors his personality. He is happy with what he has. He never saw himself or his family as disadvantages. They had what they had and they made do. He talks about the big change to moving to England. Again seeing the way Mo is it is hard to imagine Mo being a disrupting or aggressive, but he was young and in an unfamiliar environment it is understandable.

Mo gives full credit to the people who have helped him from his PE teacher, who noticed his talent early on and went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure Mo could fulfil his potential, to all his friends and competitors who helped or pushed him to be the best he could be. Mo goes out of his way to say his success is not all down to him. He talks about the work he had to put in and slowly raising up the ranks. The Sacrifices he and those around him had to make. He talks about the dangers and distractions of the life he has chosen. The incredible rewards of winning and the heart break of losing. All of this has contributed to keeping him humble and grounded.

He is open and honest about his personal feelings. The races he loses he is honest with what he thinks when wrong and give respect to his competitors saying they were better on the day. He shows he is not a Robot (or Mobot), he can have bad days like the rest of us, and unfortunately his bad days tend to be more public then the average persons. The talk about race tactics and the importance of proper preparation. The balancing act between getting your training just right, under training will lead to disaster, but over training can be just as disastrous. The mental toughness you need to develop during training, dealing with the media, and set back. The Championship mentality to keep going no matter what.

He talk about the Mo Farah Foundation the great work he is doing with that to give back to the country of his birth, and the work and scholarships he has set up in England to help aspiring young athletes get what they need in the way of coaching and financial help. Which Mo calls giving back to the sport, not many people would do this as quickly on their career. Considering this foundation was only started in 2011 which was Mo's breakout year on the world stage, it is amazing the work they have done already.

This is a great inspirational book, which can be enjoyed by all fans and has insights and wisdom for aspiring athletes as well, of not only training but how to deal with fans, the media, the negatives and positives of success. A great I would recommend it to anyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 October 2013
Mo Farah inspired a nation in 2012, this is a detailed autobiography which details his journey to become the world's greatest distance runner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2014
Interesting to read about Mo's development from childhood up until 2013. Nevertheless, it was a long slog to cross the finish line.

Written in very much the way in which Mo speaks, with a lot of needless repetition (sometimes within the same paragraph, page or in later chapters), the pace of this book was, at times, like a cross country run on a cold wet day through mud and rain. Slow and wishing you were already home. When the pace did pick up, it certainly increased interest, much like a closely run 10,000m.

Nevertheless, Mo is an athlete, not a writer, and he shared his story in his own way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2013
After reading the Ben Ainslie autobiography I was slightly worried about how good this one was going to be. I had no need to worry though. It was a brilliant read and it was easy to follow because it was in chronological order. I learnt a lot and it shows that things were not easy for Mo. I would very much recommend this book to anyone young or old.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2013
A great read, one of the more interesting pre-Christmas releases offer an insight into Mo's childhood and journey to Olympic stardom, as well as a first person account of his historic moment at London 2012 as he added 5000m Gold to the 10,000M success of the week before.

Read my full review at [...]
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on 1 April 2014
This book was very interesting, Mo should go around Schools, to inform our Children that with hard work, determination and effort
one can overcome some handicaps and do great things, of course, the MAJORITY of Children in the UK are not under-privileged as Mo was by the standards in UK leaving his Mother, Grandmother, Twin Brother, being dyslectic, not speaking the language, to come and settle here, I thought was really interesting, this journey in his life, more so than his achivements , I think that with knowing what he had done for sport in GB which he is admired for it was the leading up to this formidable runner that I admired him for.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 July 2014
A great view of Mr Farah's life and how it all came to pass. There is so much to connect to in terms of how ambition grows that this is a great read for anyone.
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on 28 November 2013
This is an interesting account of Mo's pathway to winning the 2012 Olympics. It gives insight into how he developed from a small boy from a developing country to a mature athlete who has what it takes to win. He shares his struggles with us and the reader is able to 'grow up' with him and share his struggles and triumphs as he makes it to 2012. It gives clear insight into the cost that first class athletes have to pay in order to win.
A very interesting and insightful read.
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