The world's newest nation, the Republic of South Sudan, intends on sending its best athletes to the Summer Olympic Games in London next summer. The infantile country declared it's independence on July 9th and became a member of the United Nations on July 14th, after a bitter war against the Sudanese in the North. Surprisingly, the process of creating a National Olympic Committee and getting it officially recognized by the IOC is not as swift. IOC officials have made it clear that South Sudan will probably not be able to get a NOC approved before the games. But in that event, South Sudanese athletes will be invited to participate "under other colors", a notion that remains a mystery. One cannot imagine that they would participate for Sudan, from whom they just seceded, so the IOC must have something up their sleeve.
A more important matter for South Sudan's Olympic team is the question of who will qualify. Undoubtedly, their most successful athlete is NBA star Luol Deng, but he has already committed to playing basketball for Great Britain, and it would be impossible for South Sudan to put together team sports with just a year's notice. There is hope for a future basketball team, however, as Luol Deng has already returned to South Sudan to celebrate their independence and host a basketball clinic.
That leaves track and field athletes, of which the region has produced many, but their best runner, Lopez Lomong, has already been participating for the USA (he was chosen to carry the U.S. flag at the Opening Ceremony in Beijing). Such is the underlying problem of fielding an Olympic team, as all of the country's best athletes departed to places like Great Britain and the USA because of the war against the North. Yet everyone is confident that South Sudan will send at least one athlete to London. Their best hope to send an entire team, under their new colors, probably won't be until the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, for which they've already applied.
The Olympics Wiki welcomes South Sudan to the competition!
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