Skip to comments.South Sudan marathoner is an Olympian without a country
Posted on 08/03/2012 4:01:26 PM PDT by perfect stranger
The 28-year-old does not hold U.S. citizenship, and rejected an offer to run under Sudan's flag following the nation's bitter divorce with his homeland.
"Never," he said of his refusal to run for Sudan. "For me to even consider that is a betrayal. My family lost 28 members in the war with Sudan. Millions of my people were killed by Sudan forces. I can only forgive, but I cannot honor and glorify a country that killed my people."
Since he cannot run for his country, and does not have a South Sudanese passport, the International Olympic Committee granted him permission to run as an independent.
The decision means he will carry the Olympic flag, wear a uniform that has no emblem of any nation and if he wins, the Olympic hymn will play, he said. Not South Sudan's. Not the United States'.
"The fact that I will be in the Olympics means a lot not just to me, but to my country, which has gone through so much," he said in a phone call from Flagstaff, Arizona, where he is training. "Even if I am not going to carry or wear the flag, I will be the flag of my nation. South Sudan will be in my heart."
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Good fo him and good luck.
A respectable 2:12 + change. Probably not good enough for a metal, but possible.
'fraid not. Not with the sort of times the Kenyans and the EPOpians are dropping nowadays. It's not likely that 2:12 would get him within five minutes of a medal.