FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Documentary to Feature the Life of Guor Marial,
the "Runner Without a Country"
South Sudanese Runner's Journey Takes Him from Civil War,
to the Olympics, U.S. Citizenship and More
PAMPLONA, Spain (March 19, 2013) – Guor Marial, a Sudanese refugee who
competed in the 2012 Olympic Marathon under the Olympic flag, will be
featured in a documentary film, "Runner Without a Country," announced Bill
Gallagher the Pamplona, Spain-based filmmaker.
The documentary, slated to be released in early 2014 will feature Marial's
life journey – from his childhood in civil war-torn Sudan and escape from a
refugee camp to Marial's settling in the United States where he is now a
rising star on the marathon circuit.
"The only running Guor took part in as a child was running to get away from
danger caused by the war," says Bill Gallagher, director of the film. "He
is running to give the children of South Sudan – and refugees everywhere –
hope. His life has been and continues to be one of perseverance and
triumph over adversity."
Marial, 28, qualified for the 2012 Olympic Marathon in his first attempt at
the distance, finishing the 2010 Twin Cities Marathon in two-hours, 14
minutes and 32 seconds. Despite having a U.S. green card and refugee
status, he could not compete for the United States because he was not yet a
Marial, who turned down an offer to run for Sudan because he felt it was
not appropriate representing a country in which so many Sudanese have
suffered, also did not have citizenship or a passport for recently formed
South Sudan, his homeland, a country that did not yet have the
infrastructure to support an Olympic Games committee and team.
Thanks largely to the efforts of Brad Poore, a lawyer from California, the
International Olympic Committee granted Marial permission to run as an
Independent Olympic Athlete (IOA). Other athletes have competed in the
Olympics as IOAs but Marial was the first Olympic athlete to compete
"without any true country." "This is not necessarily a reflection of how
Guor sees himself, but how the world sees him." says Brad Poore.
Marial fled from a refugee camp at the age of 8 during the civil war in
Sudan, eventually escaping to Egypt and then permanently to the U.S.
Although his parents survived the conflict, 28 members of his family,
including eight out of his 10 brothers and sisters, died.
He participated in track and field while attending high school in New
Hampshire and later competed in college at Iowa State, where he earned
All-American honors in cross country and a degree in chemistry.
With three marathons and a recent U.S. citizenship under his belt, Marial
has his sights set on the pinnacle of American marathons and the oldest
marathon the world - the Boston Marathon - where he will race in the elite
field in April.
"Runner Without a Country" will feature Marial's returning to South Sudan
to visit his parents, whom he has not seen in 20 years.
Link to the Kickstarter campaign for the film is here: http://kck.st/YkJytP