TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Abdi Abdirahman’s career has turned into a marathon.
The Somalia-born distance runner, who attended Tucson High School, Pima College, and the University of Arizona. competed in four straight Olympics. However, he was unable to compete in the 2016 games due to a calf injury.
"It was very difficult," said Abdirahman. "It’s not the easiest. It’s something that you work every four years as an athlete, and I didn’t get to the starting lineup. It was a real disappointment/"
Abdirahman quickly came back with a third-place finish in the New York City marathon.
"That just proved that I still had it."
But as the 2020 Olympics got postponed due to COVID, Abdirahman had to slow down again. This time, it was to write a book, "Abdi’s World, the Black Cactus on Life."
"If I can motivate anyone to keep up their dreams, that would be great. That’s the reason I write."
Now, 44, Abdirahman has qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games. He’s the oldest U.S.A. runner to ever make an Olympic team.
"It’s not something I talk about at this moment because I don’t want any distraction."
While it may not be a distraction, Abdirahman is getting extra attention. The Tucsonan is now racing not just his competitors, but Father Time as well.
"Maybe it's something I’ll look back on when I’m retired from competition. I consider myself an elite athlete. I don't know about age."