SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Olympics may be over, but the athletes and accomplishments surrounding them will live on for years to come. One local participant, Lopez Lomong, is having his Olympic story spread by his former cross country coach.
Jim Paccia coached Lomong at Tully High School after Lopez came to the United States as a refugee from Sudan. After having the opportunity to cheer his star athlete on in the Beijing Olympics and again in the London Olympics, Paccia said that he wanted to share Lomong's story.
While Lomong did not make the finals in 2008 and did not medal in 2012, his old coach says he's still a winner because of all he overcame to see his Olympic dream come to fruition.
"He's so thankful for everything that he's had and his life basically, coming out of Sudan and being saved, his life being saved. He feels like it was saved for a reason, for a purpose. And so he's all about giving back to what's going on and so are we,” Paccia said.
Lomong has written a book about his life that chronicles his trials and triumphs of going from refugee to Olympian. The book is titled "Running For My Life."