SUDANESE-BORN, PROUD AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIAN & KEYNOTE SPEAKER
My name is Peter Bol, and I run as fast as I can!
Born in Sudan, I migrated to Australia at a young age and have called Australia my home ever since. Today, it is with the greatest pride that I get to represent my country with the highest of standards both on and off the track.
In 2004, at the age of 10, I touched down in Toowoomba with my family – and it felt like I had made it already! Life was going to be very different compared to what I was used to, but I could also tell that there would be exciting opportunities and challenges ahead of me.
I really enjoyed the relaxed Queensland lifestyle and all the brand-new experiences, especially with my family around me to share the exciting journey with. I come from a big family of 7, and so when we had to learn a new language, we took it as an exciting challenge – and with my siblings, we very quickly turned it into a competition! I guess I never looked back from there.
As for the Australian culture, I have to admit it took some time to get used to it and I’m still learning new things today. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. From a young age I developed a real passion for sport – I followed the Premier League in Europe and the World Cup almost religiously, but also the NBA and especially Aussie rules and rugby. Sport was just always in my blood.
After four years in Toowoomba and the end of primary school, my family decided to move to Perth where I was awarded a basketball scholarship at St Norbert College. It was only when I was 17 and with the guidance of a teacher that I registered with a track club outside of school.
After finishing school, I went to Curtin University to study a Bachelor of Construction Management and Economics. But at the end of 2015, things really started to get exciting – I made the decision to move to Melbourne to train with Justin Rinaldi, the great middle-distance coach. But before making that decision I really battled with it, and I would later get my reward with my first Australian team selection for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. When you know what your goals and your values are, decisions can be tough, but you know deep down that they are right.
Outside of my ambitions and aspirations within athletics, I really found a passion for helping others in the form of mentoring, coaching and speaking. I attribute much of my success to having had a mentor and a strong support team throughout my development, and I already want to start giving back so that those who follow me get the very same sort of consistent guidance on their own exciting journeys.
I enjoy storytelling – especially sharing my journey and my experiences from both on and off the sports arena. As I proudly represent Australia and find my place within the country and culture, I also find great value in exploring at a deeper level the concept of ‘home’ and love sharing all the internal and external emotions experienced as an athlete and a person from the beginning of my journey until today.
I’d love to share my journey with you too, so thanks for coming along for the ride … or run!