"Never," he said of his refusal to run for Sudan. "For me to even consider that is a betrayal. My family lost 28 members in the war with Sudan. Millions of my people were killed by Sudan forces. I can only forgive, but I cannot honor and glorify a country that killed my people."
Since he cannot run for his country, and does not have a South Sudanese passport, the International Olympic Committee granted him permission to run as an independent.
The decision means he will carry the Olympic flag, wear a uniform that has no emblem of any nation and if he wins, the Olympic hymn will play, he said. Not South Sudan's. Not the United States'.
"The fact that I will be in the Olympics means a lot not just to me, but to my country, which has gone through so much," he said in a phone call from Flagstaff, Arizona, where he is training. "Even if I am not going to carry or wear the flag, I will be the flag of my nation. South Sudan will be in my heart."
Read Marial's story at CNN. Link