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Enslaved twice as a child in Sudan, 2-time Olympian is now in US Air Force

Gour Maker, a Basic Military Training trainee, receives an “Airman’s Coin” at the during a Feb. 1, 2018, ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Maker was recognized as a selfless leader and motivator during his basic training. (DILLON PARKER/U.S. AIR FORCE)
February 26, 2018

Few people graduating from the U.S. Air Force’s Basic Military Training can claim the sort of life experiences that Airman 1st Class Guor Maker has had.

A refugee from South Sudan, Maker was captured and enslaved twice during his early childhood years. After escaping Sudan and eventually making it to the United States, Maker developed his running skills to the point where he competed in two Olympics.

At 33, Maker is now a dental assistant currently in technical training, according to an Air Force news release.

Maker ran in the men’s marathon as an unaffiliated athlete in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He also ran the men’s marathon as an athlete for South Sudan in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.

“All of the things I’ve accomplished have derived from the opportunities the U.S. has afforded me,” Maker said, according to the release. “When I first came to America, I didn’t have hardly anything, but with the support and opportunity this country has given me, I’ve been able to completely change my life.”

Maker hopes to join the Air Force World Class Athlete Program and eventually make the 2020 Olympics where he’ll have the opportunity to represent his new home and the country that gave him so much, the release said.

“Joining the greatest Air Force in the world has been an absolute miracle,” said Maker. “I can’t wait to see what this next chapter holds for me.”


© 2018 the Stars and Stripes

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