athlete

Olympic Runner Finds Support on the Road to Rio

A group of sponsors came together to support Prince Mumba and his dream of getting the gold

His name is Prince Mumba, but his treatment in life has been anything but royal.

The Olympic hopeful, born in the southern country of Zambia, was the 11th child in a very poor family.

But even after being abandoned to live on the streets at the age of 8, he vowed that one day he would be somebody.

"That didn't break me. I said, 'This is going to make me stronger,'" he said.

In the sixth grade his teacher punished him for misbehaving by making him run around the school track. There, he discovered for the first time that he had an actual talent -- he was the fastest runner around.

He eventually started competing -- beating everyone in his school, his city, and finally, his whole nation.

"I was so fast," he said. "I didn't even do any training. I'd just show up at the track meet and beat everybody."

Prince began to dream that one day he'd run in the Olympics.

"Of course, I'd get negativity from people saying, 'You're nothing, the Olympics is for special people,'" he said. "I'm like, yeah, I'm special."

Prince's talent eventually earned him a scholarship to study in America, and with the help of legendary Santa Monica track coach Joe Douglas, he made it to two Olympic games, running the 800-meter sprint and carrying the flag for his country.

For the past few years, Prince has continued to train in Santa Monica, driving for Uber at night. But without money for a team of experts, he had little hope of qualifying for the Rio games.

However, everything changed when Prince met nutritionist Kevin Libby, who was shocked to discover the athlete was surviving on frozen chicken and Gatorade.

Libby decided to help Prince get in top form and introduced him to stock trader Tim Sykes, who donated $10,000 to pay for his training and travel.

"It takes a team to really build something truly great," Sykes said. "Prince is great on his own but now we're taking it up a notch."

Prince is now back in touch with his family and has forgiven them for abandoning him. He has also started a track club where he mentors young runners.

He says being shown such kindness from strangers in America has confirmed his belief that he was destined for greatness -- and maybe even a gold medal.

"Looking at this here it really humbles me and gives me hope to open doors to help as many people as possible in the world," Prince said.

A GoFundMe page has been established to help Prince with training and travel expenses.

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