Diane Nukuri

Ali on the Run Show Episode 403: Diane Nukuri, Three-Time Olympian

“I’m just training and racing and I’m living my best life… I’m living my American Dream.”

At 15, Diane Nukuri became an Olympian. At 16, she fled her home country of Burundi, seeking asylum in Canada. By 20, she was a student at the University of Iowa, fluent in English (her third language) and thriving on the run. Soon after, she competed at the 2012 Olympics, then again at the 2016 Games. Today, Diane is a dual citizen of the United States and Burundi, she’s a professional runner sponsored by Asics, and she holds the Burundian records in the 1500, the 5,000, the 10,000, the half-marathon, and the marathon. She has represented Burundi in the Olympics three times at three different distances: the 5K in Sydney in 2000, the marathon in London in 2012, and the 10K in Rio in 2016. On this episode, Diane talks about growing up in Burundi as one of eight siblings, and about her decision to leave the country amidst its violent Civil War. She talks about living with family in Ontario, enrolling in a French-speaking high school, and then attending community college so she could learn English and continue running before attending the University of Iowa. Plus, periods, meditation, Diane’s fall racing plans, and more!

SPONSOR: AfterShokz — Visit ontherun.aftershokz.com for 15% off wireless headphones.

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • What it means to Diane to be living her best life right now (3:15)
  • How Diane’s running and racing have been going this year (8:15)
  • What Diane has learned from training alongside other fast women (17:30)
  • What it was like growing up in Burundi as one of eight siblings (23:20)
  • On becoming an Olympian at 15 years old (26:30)
  • What it was like seeking asylum from Burundi and moving to Canada (34:15)
  • On building confidence on the run and off at the University of Iowa (41:30)
  • On competing at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics (45:00)
  • The process of becoming a United States citizen (51:00)
  • How Diane gets in the right headspace when she doesn’t feel like running  (55:00)

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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