In July, we brought you the stories of neighbors who immigrated here. And this month, we brought you the stories of neighbors who have competed in the Olympics.
Fifteen-hundred meter runner Lopez Lomong just happens to fit the bill for both.
Lomong actually credits running with saving his life. As a 6-year-old boy in his homeland of Sudan, a militia faction abducted him with the hopes of turning him into a child solider. He escaped that militia camp by squeezing through a hole in the fence, and then traveling by foot for three days until he reached Kenya. There he was arrested and spent the next 10 years in a prison camp.
As a teenager, considered one of the "Lost Boys of Sudan," he was resettled with a family in New York. It wasn’t long until he excelled as a track star, eventually qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team.
Lomong became a U.S citizen about a year ago–and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. you can watch him take on one of the greatest honors bestowed on an American: he was selected to be the U.S. flag bearer during the opening ceremonies at this year’s Olympics. Now if that doesn’t make you feel at least a little twinge of patriotism, I don’t know what will.