Independent Olympic Athletes at the London Olympics 2012
These folks aren’t with any country, and they have the most swag.
Two are from a recently dissolved country. But, on a more somber note, one is from the Sudan but refused to represent them after many of his family members were killed by Sudanese government sponsored forces and he himself was sent to a labor camp.
Loved this group. Free to be themselves. :)
Although this brings me joy… the description made me sigh and roll my eyes. These three athletes are from Curaçao, which was part of the former Netherlands Antilles and now is it’s own territory. These athletes all hold Dutch nationality, but chose to compete as independent athletes as their small Caribbean island does not yet have it’s own IOC recognized committee.
Their fun and exuberance is truly one of the highlights of the opening ceremony, but painting their celebration as a way Guor Marial, the FOURTH and absent member of the independent athletes, was starting off his Olympic experience is misrepresenting the truth.
Guor Marial was still in the United States, still trying to secure a visa in order to compete in the upcoming marathon event.
His story is one of sports, hardship, asylum and now the Olympics helping overcome amazing odds, but it needs to be spread truthfully… don’t you think?