BEIRUT

Olympics

Running Stateless

  • Guor Marial speaks to journalists as he arrives at the Heathrow airport, in London on August 3, 2012, on day 7 of the London 2012 olympic games. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW COWIE

LONDON: Among the runners in Sunday's marathon is one without a country.

Guor Marial fled a refugee camp in what is now South Sudan during a civil war more than a decade ago. He landed in the United States, seeking asylum.

"I'm representing the whole world, basically," he says.

Marial will compete under the banner of the International Olympic Committee. He will have "I.O.A." printed on his new gray and black uniform for the race, just as he recently did on his new jacket: Independent Olympic Athlete.

Marial has run only two marathons in his life, but finished both in Olympic times. His second was just two months ago.

As for expectations, well, Marial really doesn't have any.

"I'm going into the race open minded," says the 28-year-old Marial, who now lives in Flagstaff, Ariz. "I will just go there and see what happens."

 
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