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."





Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (

comments powered by Disqus



Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here