From war zone to international spotlight

Margret Rumat Rumar Hassan from  South Sudan got into competitive running through a friend who urged her to take part in a local competition. From these humble beginnings she will be one of thousands of young athletes taking part in the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.

Tomorrow at the Opening Ceremony she will have the honour of carrying the Olympic flag, representing participants who cannot compete under their national flag and will compete as a “Independent Olympic Athlete’”, then go onto race in the women’s 400m on 23rd August.

We caught up with the inspiring and talented runner in her native South Sudan where she spoke about some of the challenges she has faced in training for the Youth Olympic Games and her excitement for coming to Nanjing

On her upcoming presence, she revealed she was feeling “nervous” about the upcoming YOG, but was quick to add: “I have the courage and I think when I get there, I will meet the other athletes who have courage too.” We have no doubt that Margaret’s fears will soon be dispelled once she meets her fellow YOGgers.

The decision for Margret to attend follows the historic agreement signed between the IOC and the United Nations aimed at strengthening collaboration and working together on a range of projects around the world, including assisting athletes on the ground and humanitarian aid.

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