Lopez Lomong, former ‘Lost Boy’ to run for U.S. in Olympics

Olympic athlete Lopez Lomong is partnering with World Vision to bring help and hope to children and families in South Sudan.

By John Yeager, World Vision U.S.
Published July 2, 2012 at 12:00am PDT

Lopez Lomong, a former Sudan “Lost Boy,” qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics in the men’s 5,000 meters race. He finished in third place at the national trials in Eugene, Oregon, on Thursday night with a time of 13:24:47.

Now, his sights are set on a gold medal in London.

This will be the second Olympics for Lopez. In 2008, he carried the U.S. flag for the opening ceremony in Beijing.

Lopez’s story

Born in 1985 in Kimotong, a village in southern Sudan, Lopez was kidnapped at the age of 6 by rebel soldiers of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army. After weeks of watching other children die, he and three other captives escaped.

They ran for three days and crossed into Kenya, where they were taken to a refugee camp. For ten years, Lopez lived in the camp.

At the age of 16, Lopez was sponsored by a U.S. family and came to live in Tully, New York. He soon discovered he was the fastest runner in his school; at Northern Arizona University, he won two NCAA championships.

Lopez turned pro in 2007 and became a U.S. citizen in time to qualify for Olympic trials the following year.

His book, “Running for My Life,” will be released by publisher Thomas Nelson in July.  

4 South Sudan 

Now, the young man who has had so much taken from him wants to give something back.

Lomong wants to bring the hope and opportunities he has experienced to his home country.

To do this, Lopez started 4 South Sudan — a partnership between World Vision and the Lopez Lomong Foundation. 4 South Sudan’s mission is to meet the needs of the South Sudanese people through water, healthcare, education, and nutrition.

Immediately after the Olympics, Lomong is planning to travel to Kenya, where he spent 10 years in a refugee camp, and to his native South Sudan. The eight-day trip is part of the 4 South Sudan partnership.

How you can help

Pray for Lopez Lomong. Thank God for the way He has worked in Lopez’s life, instilling in Lopez a desire to help children in South Sudan. Pray for Lopez as he prepares for the 2012 Olympics.

Show your support for 4 South Sudan. Visit the 4 South Sudan site to make a donation, buy a t-shirt, or run a race with Team World Vision.