Fri August 31, 2012
Homecoming for Olympian Without a Home
Distance runner Guor Marial has called New Hampshire his home for 11 years. But after qualifying for the London Olympics, he had no home country to represent. The refugee isn’t a U.S. citizen, and couldn’t run for South Sudan. The world’s newest country wasn’t sending a team.
But with the help of Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Marial was allowed to run as an independent athlete in the marathon, where he finished 47th.
"The moment there was about the people I was representing," Marial told reporters. "Even whether I would win a gold or be the last person. It was a moment for South Sudanese people, it was a moment for the refugees, and it was a moment for New Hampshire and the United States."
Senator Shaheen praised not only Marials’ talent, but also his strength of character.
The 28-year old was a star runner at Concord High School, and an all-American at Iowa State. He trains in Arizona.