South Sudanese marathoner to run in Olympics as independent

Guor Marial, the South Sudanese marathon runner whose hopes of competing in this year’s Olympic games have been waiting on the International Olympic Committee’s decision, can rest his hopes.  This weekend, the IOC granted Marial permission to run in the London Olympics as an independent under the Olympic flag.  A refugee from the civil war in Sudan, Marial made the ultimate decision that he would rather run as an independent or even not run at all in this year’s Olympics, rather than represent the nation of Sudan. The Chicago Tribune reports:

Guor Marial, the South Sudanese marathoner whose man-without-a-country Olympic plight was first brought to light by the Tribune five days ago, will be able to compete in the London Summer Games under the Olympic flag.

The International Olympic Committee’s executive board approved Marial’s participation Saturday.

Since Marial does not have a passport from any country, he still needs to get the documents necessary for him to leave and re-enter both the United States and the United Kingdom, according to Brad Poore, the California attorney who befriended him and advocated for his Olympic participation after they met at last year’s Twin Cities Marathon.

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