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- Category: Latest (South) Sudan News From Various Sources
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Guor Marial has made headlines as the Olympian without a country, but the South Sudanese runner means more to his people than any athlete in London.
Marial will run the marathon under the Olympic flag, but the world’s newest nation will be hanging on his every step. The 28-year-old knows exactly how much his performance means to his compatriots.
He said, “Most important is the people of South Sudan. They struggle so much, so if I can accomplish something, I can help. That's why every morning, I get up, I put on my shoes and I train,” via NBCOlympics.com.
Sudan has been one of the most troubled nations on Earth for the past several decades. Ethnic tensions and extreme poverty have led to horrifying atrocities.
In 2011, the southern part of the country, which is comprised mainly of ethnic African groups, voted on a referendum to break away from the Muslim Arab north. An overwhelming 99 percent of population was in favor of independence.
Becoming a country was an inspiring victory for Marial and his people, but the dangers that existed before South Sudan did are still very real. Warfare between tribes and violent resistance armies, such as the one led by Joseph Kony, still plague the people of the fledgling nation.
With so many other obstacles to hurdle, South Sudan has not formed an Olympic committee. This left Marial, an All-American cross-country runner at Iowa State, in a bind.
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“If I ran for Sudan, I would be betraying my people. I would be dishonoring the two million people who died for our freedom," he said, via Joshua Kors and the Huffington Post. Marial himself lost 28 family members as a result of the civil war that preceded South Sudan’s secession, according to Time’s Sean Gregory.
Marial fled the violence in his home country and has been living in the United States since 2001, as noted by Gregory.
He has a unique opportunity in London. At the very least, he can offer the people of South Sudan a momentary distraction. But Marial also has the potential to be a symbol of hope for an entire nation.
No single performance will mean so much to an athlete’s home nation. Referring to Marial as an athlete without a home does not begin to tell his inspiring story.
Marial has a home, and he will be running to try and make it a better place for future generations.
Newer news items:
- Obama welcomes new ambassadors to Burma, South Sudan - Fox News - 30/07/2012
- South Sudan commemorates 2nd Martyrs' Day since independence - New Sudan Vision - 30/07/2012
- Sudan Embassy in London denies that Olympic 800-meter runner has claimed ... - Washington Post - 29/07/2012
- Alek Wek: 'I'm trying to help with the rebuilding process' - The Guardian - 28/07/2012
- Free Rudwan Dawod Now: US-based Human Rights Activist Stands Trial in Sudan - Huffington Post - 27/07/2012
Older news items:
- South Sudanese Supermodel Alek Wek Returns to the Country She Fled as a ... - Forbes - 27/07/2012
- Geoff Calkins: Marathoner from South Sudan runs for more than a country - Knoxville News Sentinel - 27/07/2012
- Marathoner deserves to run under South Sudan's flag - Boston Globe - 26/07/2012
- US not probing allegations of massive South Sudanese corruption - Kansas City Star - 26/07/2012
- South Sudan: What We Are Facing Is An Extremely Serious Situation - Doctors Without Borders - 26/07/2012
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