Mo Farah is opening up about his challenging childhood. In a clip of the upcoming BBC One documentary The Real Mo Farah, the Olympic legend reveals that he was taken from his family in his native Somaliland at age 9 and trafficked to England. Farah also revealed that his real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin.
"Despite what I've said in the past, my parents never lived in the U.K. When I was 4, my dad was killed in a civil war," Farah says, per PEOPLE. "As a family, we were torn apart. I was separated from my mother and I was brought into the U.K. illegally, under the name of another child called Mohamed Farah."
According to the Washington Post, Farah said his mother sent him and his twin brother Hassan to live with his uncle in Djibouti for their safety after their father was killed. It was then when a woman would visit to observe him before he was told she was taking him to Europe to live with relatives.
"From day one, what the lady did wasn't right. I wasn't treated as part of the family," he revealed. "If I wanted food in my mouth, my job was to look after those kids, shower them, cook for them, clean for them, and she said, 'If you ever want to see your family again, don't say anything or they will take you away.' Often I would just lock myself in the bathroom and cry."
Farah escaped after talking to his PE teacher Alan Watkinson about his situation. He was then placed with his friend's mom Kinsi Farah, where he lived for the next seven years. Mo Farah was reunited with his birth mother in 2000. After the reunion, Farah went on to have a successful Olympic career, winning four gold medals in two different games. The long-distance runner also won six gold medals and two silver in the World Championships, making him the most successful male track distance runner ever.
"I see running as something I enjoy, something I look forward to," Farah told GQ last year. "Often when I take time out, on a restful two-week break somewhere nice with the family, I'm almost like, 'What do I do with myself?'. I've got so much energy, I've got to be doing something. For me, if I wasn't running, I don't know what I'd be doing."