These are the four athletes competing in the 2012 London Summer Olympics as independents, or not associated with a country: Philipine Van Aanholt, Reginald De Windt, Liemarvin Bonevacia, and Guor Marial.
Philipine is a sailor from Curacao, which was formerly the Netherlands Antilles. After the Netherlands Antilles dissolved in 2010, it lost its recognition by the Olympic committee. This year, however, Philipine van Aanholt was allowed to participate in the games.
Reginald De Windt is also from Curacao and will be participating in the games as a judoka.
Liemarvin Bonevacia will run in the men’s 400m.
Guor Marial’s story has to be the most unique, by far. He’s from South Sudan and left for the United States at age eight for refuge against the Sudanese civil war. He attended Iowa State and qualified in October 2011. He rejected an offer by the National Olympic Committee in South Sudan to compete as a member of the team as said this:
“It is not right for me to do that. It’s not right for me to represent the country I refuged from.”
So in addition to your own home country and Great Britain, how about checking these guys out when they participate (July 30th, July 31st, August 4th, and August 12th, respectively)? These four spectacular people deserve to be cheered on, and maybe even win, as much as everybody else.