EUGENE, Ore. - Lopez Lomong was just six years old when he was taken from his family in war-torn Sudan.
With the help of three other boys, he was able to escape. Now, he hopes to share his story with his new book entitled "Running For My Life: One Lost Boy's Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games"
"I was running for my life," said the U.S. Olympic athlete. "I was running away from people who wanted to hurt me, people that wanted me to be a child soldier.
Lomong lived in a refugee camp for a decade. During that time, his passion for running grew after watching Michael Johnson run in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
"I had big dreams to give back to this country," he said. "I wanted to run as fast as that guy, which was michael, the USA on his chest."
Lomong moved to the U.S. when he was 16.
He became a U.S. citizen and an Olympian in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, chosen as his adopted home country's flag bearer during the opening ceremony.
"That was my biggest moment," he said. "That paved my life, paved my way to make me want to go back and give back as much as I can."
Since then, he's started the Lopez Lomong Foundation with a goal to bring clean water and education to people in need in Sudan.
"I used to run away from the bullets, but I'm no longer running from the bullets," he told KVAL News. "I'm running towards something that I need to give to these kids who are still going through this hardship."
Running is his passion, but his bigger dream is to inspire and help others. He hopes his new book "Running for My Life: One Lost Boy's Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games" shows people that anything is possible.
"My words in this book can speak for the voices that have never been heard before," he said. "I just want people to realize that if you dream big, the sky's the limit, regardless of where you are."
Lomong will be having a book signing on Friday, June 29th from 12 - 1 p.m. at the Eugene Running Company.