Day Job: Janitor
Fleeing his native Ethiopia in 2003, Urige Buta enrolled in his local athletics club after settling in Norway. His initial refugee status meant that he was not permitted to compete abroad, which in turn limited his opportunities for sponsorship and training. While he now holds Norwegian citizenship, he continues to make ends meet by working as a janitor in offices and a local high school. He trains in the school gym during breaks in between shifts and practices distance running along a mile-long service tunnel for sewage pipes. Buta devotes the rest of his time to looking after his one-year-old son.
(PHOTOS: The Olympic Games in Motion)