I met my friend Eloise in America, when she was training for the Olympics. She listened to my story, and instantly we became friends. I grew up in a small village in Uganda in Africa.

In the middle of a long war that hurt many people in my community, I learnt that I had a talent for running. So I set my eyes on becoming the best runner I could be. Every day, I would wake early and run to school. Soon, I went to the district carnival, the Junior World Championships and then eventually, the Olympics. After this, I was able to return to Uganda to help my village.

When I was younger I was determined to do the best I could at running. So many people told me that I would not make it, but I believed that I could.

You must continue to believe in yourself, even if others don’t and you must never give up. By doing your very best, you might have the chance to help others, and you should always take that chance.

This article first appeared in Edition 30.

Photo credit: River Bennett Photography for Love Mercy Foundation.

Also, check out “The Boy Who Runs: The Odyssey of Julius Achon”, written by award-winning sportswriter John Brant.


Julius Achon

Julius Achon is an athlete, humanitarian & co-founder of Love Mercy Foundation. He used his athletic talent to bring hope back to his community. www.lovemercyfoundation.org

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