Remember the name, Almutasem Riyad Nassr Alshamiri. The young Yemeni American student at Universal Academy came 13th place nationally, 2nd state wide, and 1st in the city of Detroit during the U.S. Olympics which was held in Texas in December of 2012.
The talented runner along with his father, Riyad Alshamiri, sat down with Adel Mozip, the Yemeni American News Marketing director for an interview and answered a few questions.
> Please introduce yourself?
>> My name is Almuatesm Riyad Alshamiri. I came from Yemen 2002, and I started running when I was 13 years old. I currently attend Universal Academy and a graduate of the Yemeni American Benevolent Association (YABA) weekend school.
> How did you start running?
>> It was not by choice in the beginning. I started playing soccer, and people told me you run fast, you should be in the track team so I started running. Coach Mike Bravley told me I have a talent in track and I should grow it.
> When did you start professionally?
>> Started running for the school team freshmen year. I then was discovered by and he told me to join TDP Elite with coach Reggie Osborne.
> What are your accomplishments so far?
>> I placed 13th national in the U.S. Junior Olympics which was held in July in Houston, Texas 2012, 2nd state wide and 1st in the city of Detroit.
>> How was the race in Texas?
> Tough, it was during the month of Ramadan, so I was fasting and running at the same time.
> What are your biggest motivations?
>> My belief of accomplishing something in the future, God willing showing my talent as a Yemeni AmericanMy family and friends support.
> How crucial is your family support?
>> Very important. I am blessed with a family that is supportive, taking me to practices, buying me the things I need, and always there for me when I need them. They even watch what I eat and make sure I still do my school work.
> What is your dream?
>> To make it to the Summer 2016 Olympics in Brazil
>Have you started preparing for it?
>> Working on it now. By keep in practicing, and working diligently to get accepted to a fine university in Michigan, God-Willing I will be able to make it there.
>What are your long-term goals?
>> To be a well-known professional runner, physical therapist and build a professional sport center in the Detroit area for all the youth who will be going through the same phase I am going right now. I am lucky to have a family that supports me but I am sure there are youth out there who are not as lucky as I am. Or they do have the talent, but lack the support and motivation. Hopefully this center will be a second home for them.
> What are your weaknesses and strengths?
>> My two major strengths is that I don’t worry what people say, having all the confidence in myself to achieve whatever goal I have in mind, and that I don’t just give up. My weakness is that I am a bit shy. Sometimes I don’t express myself as I intend.
> One story about yourself that greatly impacted you?
>> When I injured myself, I pulled a hamstring, and I layed down for about a month and it was very painful. Now I know how to run “right” and do stretches. Now I have a coach, TDP Coach is there to help.
>> When asking his father about Almuatsem’s personality, Riyad Alshamiri, a weekend school principal said that Almuatsem possesses a strong personality that he wants to express it. He used to play soccer when he was little, and suddenly he started focusing on track and running. When he joined the TDP club, I realized that he has a bright future after what his coaches spoke of him and his skills. In addition to that, Almuatsem is a very kind young man who loves to help others when in need. He always helps me in school although he already graduated from the school.
> What do you want tell you people who are like you?
>> Every person has a talent, but they don’t try to grow it. They give up on it when they find no support. I tell them to keep going after their dreams and never give up on it. At the end they will reach their goal if they persist on achieving it.
> Describe a normal weekend day for you?
>> Wake up about 6, pray Fajr, run 12-16 miles a day, take my brother with me for workouts, and help my father at Yemeni American Benevolent Association.
>> In your view, what you think makes a great athlete?
o A person, who has good attitude, never quits, and gives back to the community.
> Future studies?
>> Physical therapy, and hopefully enroll at the University of Michigan
> Last words?
>> Thanks and gratitude to God first and foremost for his blessings. Then I thank my Family, my coaches, Khaled Almawri & Fawzi Yahya for their continuous support. I look up to Mohamed Farah as Role model because of his spirit and the attitude toward life. I would like to represent Yemen one day, in an international sport but I hope there is support from them. Thanks to you and to the Yemeni American News for this opportunity!
Also published at YemeniAmerican.com