Ruweng Born Athletes Making it Big in the World
South Sudan and particularly the Ruweng State is a place which has seen a lot of adversity over the years due to civil unrest in the country. It is a people that has made the most of what it has gone through and risen to the occasion on many times to meet the challenges that have been thrown its way. It is among the people from the Ruweng area in South Sudan that two very prolific athletes that are making it big on the international stage come from.
Majak Daw in Melbourne, Australia
For those of you who follow the Australian rules football, you might be very well aware of Majak Daw. He is a professional footballer that plays Australian rules football for the North Melbourne Football Club in the Australia Football League. A true example of someone who has risen through adversity, Daw belongs to a family of refugees from Sudan that felt compelled to leave the country because of the civil unrest.
Daw is the first ever South Sudanese born player to have been drafted into an AFL club when he signed the contract for the North Melbourne Football Club in 2009. Of course it goes without saying that he did grab the international headlines when he signed for the football club. Featured by the likes of BBC and Voice of America, Daw has shown the resilience of the people from Ruweng and their ability to reach the top levels in the world of sporting.
Guor Mading Maker aka Guor Marial in USA
Guor Mading Maker aka Guor Marial is a track and field athlete who was born in Sudan. A Dinka tribesman from the Ruweng area, he was in Sudan during the time that Sudan was facing the civil unrest which saw 28 of his family members killed in the conflict. This was when he was still just a child younger than 16 years of age. He managed to get out of the country and come to the United States where he was given a refugee status at the age of 16.
He became one of the top most track and field athletes in the world when he participated in the Olympics of 2012. The man was an odd case when it came to the representation of country for the Olympics in the summer of 2012. While he had gained permanent residency in the United States and was living in Arizona, he had not yet received a citizenship yet. That menat he could not represent the United States in the Olympics. He belonged to the newly formed country of South Sudan but it had not yet established an Olympic Committee so he could not go for that either. The only option that seemed viable was that he represents the Sudanese team. They even gave him the offer to be able to do so but he rejected their offer saying that it would be a betrayal to his own people. He would not accept a position on the Sudanese team no matter how much they insisted. He enjoys a special place in history because he is the only one to have been granted a place in the Olympics as an Independent Athlete.