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News Posted on August 16, 2012

Brad Poore '08 Aids Olympic Marathoner from South Sudan

Brad Poore '08 drew widespread media coverage for his efforts on behalf of Guor Marial, a marathon runner from South Sudan who was allowed to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics under the banner of the International Olympic Committee thanks largely to Poore's intervention on his behalf.

Marial was born in what is now the newly independent country of South Sudan but fled the violence there to seek asylum in the United States, where he is a legal permanent resident and seeking citizenship.  He is an elite marathoner whose performance met the qualification standard for the Olympics, but because he has no official nationality, it seemed he would not be allowed to compete. (He declined an offer to compete under the Sudanese flag, and South Sudan has no Olympic committee.)

Poore, an Auburn-based criminal defense attorney and marathoner, met Marial at a race in October 2011, and they became friends.  Poore interceded on Marial's behalf, eventually convincing the International Olympic Committee to take the unusual course of allowing him to compete as an independent.  Marial ran the marathon, finishing 47th, and the story drew coverage from major media outlets all over the world, with numerous reports-including those in the Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, Runner's World, New York Post, and Los Angeles Times-mentioning Poore's role.

Poore, who competed in the 2008 Olympic trials, has trained in Kenya, a nation known for producing outstanding distance runners.  According to a July 2011 article in the Sacramento Bee,  he has brought several young Kenyan runners to the United States as part of "an informal running exchange program."

Associated Press

Chicago Tribune

Runner's World

New York Post

Los Angeles Times

Sacramento Bee