Today, Lopez Lomong will march into the Bird’s Nest stadium as both the United States flagbearer and a walking symbol of the American dream.
Lomong was voted by the assorted team captains to the honor of leading the U.S. contingent into the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games before a crowd of 90,000 at the stadium and a worldwide television audience.
The 1,500-meter track runner will carry the American flag only 13 months after becoming a U.S. citizen.
I think for many immigrants coming into America an surviving the conflicts within their own country, this is indeed a symbol of a dream come true.
Lomong had never heard of the Olympics before 2000, when friends at the refugee camp in Kenya talked him into running five miles and then he paid five shillings to watch Michael Johnson run in Sydney on a black-and-white TV set with a fuzzy screen. That’s when he knew he wanted to be a runner.