Olympic Games: Athletes without national identity

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Guor Marial
Here is a list of athletes who have made a difference, as they are participating in the most prestigious Olympic Games 2012, under the Olympic flag.

Though this is not the first time independent athletes are allowed to participate in the Games, they had appeared in 1992 Summer Olympics and 2000 Olympics as well.

London Olympics 2012 Specials

The Netherlands Antilles Olympic Committee and South Sudan athletes were accepted as Independent Olympians due to their political crisis, as Sudan gained its independence in Jun 2011, the lone marathon from Sudan and the athletes from Netherlands Antilles were allowed to participate in London Olympics 2012.

With no country and passport, Guor Marial, who ran for his life from his hometown to US, his journey from a refugee to an Olympian is really amazing. This marathoner from South Sudan has created history by participating in the Olympics without a passport and a country to represent!

While Liemarvin Bonevacia (400m - Athletics), Abdullah Althuwaini (Swimming), Philipine Van Asnholt (Sailing), Reginald De Windt (Judo) and Ibrahim Alhasan (Table Tennis) are the other independent athletes allowed to participate in the Games this year.

Similarly, 58 competitors, 39 men and 19 women, took part in 54 events in 13 sports, while three athletes won medals in 1992 as Independent Olympic participants, all in shooting.

While four athletes (Calisto sa Costa, Aguida Amaral (Athletics), Victor Ramos(Boxing) and Martinho de Araujo (Weight-lifting) from East Timor competed as Individual Olympic Athletes at the Sydney Olympics 2000.

Such athletes have proved that inspiration, dedication and commitment can take you anywhere irrespective of problems faced by an individual. Let us hope the independent athletes participating in London Olympics 2012 make the athletes proud by winning more medals.

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