South Sudan has become the 206th member of the Olympic family on Friday, after the Olympic Committee approved its inclusion, despite ongoing conflict in the country.
The country will be competing at next year’s Rio de Janeiro summer Olympics under its own flag and plans to send a team of four.
South Sudan’s Olympic chief expressed his joy and said that this would serve as a means to promote reconciliation and national unity.
The country currently has four athletes who are training in Kenya.
Among the four is, marathon runner, Guor Marial who competed at the London 2012 Olympic but did so under Olympic flag after he refused to run for Sudan and with South Sudan not yet an IOC member at the time.
The unanimous recognition of the country’s Olympic Committee drew a loud round of applause from the IOC members with South Sudanese officials visibly moved and some in tears. Reuters reported.