Every day since Barack Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009, veteran CNN political reporter Tom Foreman has written the President an open letter on Anderson Cooper’s 360 blog. In his letter on Wednesday, he urged Obama not to forget Meb Keflezighi when he invites U.S. Olympic medalists for the traditional White House visit.
Foreman, who is himself a marathon runner, called the veteran marathoner “my hero in the whole race,” citing his “inspiring wisdom and strength” in biding his time and proving that he was more than “a sentimental favorite who would do well to finish in the top 10.”
Keflezighi, the Olympic silver medalist in 2004, missed the team in 2008 because of an injury before coming back in 2009 to win the ING New York City Marathon. In January, he won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and in the Games was in 19th place at 20K before patiently working his way up to a fourth-place finish.
“At 37 years old, he ran a magnificent race,” wrote Foreman in part. “So when you are inviting all those medal winning Olympians to the White House for photo ops, I hope you will consider calling Meb to come by as well. This was his last Olympic run, and it came at an age when many athletes would not dream of trying such a difficult feat. It was courageous, it was inspirational, and it is worthy of the highest accolades.
Run, Meb, run.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg