The world will be watching the South Sudanese Aussie Peter Bol as he competes in the 800m final!
“There will be noise complaints!” So say Peter Bol’s family from their HQ in South Perth which will be bursting with family & friends willing him to history in the 800m final tonight. Scenes of his family’s jubilation at his victory in the heats were beamed around the world from his Instagram account, providing a magical Olympic moment.
The South-Sudanese Aussie refugee come lawyer come Olympic finalist is the first Aussie in the 800m final in 53 years, the last being Ralph Doubell in Mexico in 1968.
It has been quite a journey for the Bol family, fleeing the brutal Sudan civil war to a Cairo refugee camp to Toowoomba, Perth and then Peter to Melbourne to take his running career seriously.
Like many humanitarian refugees, a close knit family and friend support network is crucial to success and tonight Peter’s clan will gather from across Perth to deliriously cheer his every step towards glory.
Bol’s siblings noted his rise as an athlete through some subtle lifestyle changes, his brother Izeldin telling SBS: “He started changing a little bit. I didn’t even know what Weet-Bix was. I started seeing Weet-Bix, then bananas. I had only seen them on TV. Sometimes having his own meals, I thought he was kind of weird.”
As Peter Bol steps onto the track tonight, the world will be watching and Africans and Australians across the world will unite to scream at their screens and cheer their new hero home. And none louder or prouder than in South Perth.
Good luck Peter and enjoy the final lap of the Hero’s Journey!
Check out the Peter in the the Mens 800m Gold race on Wed 4 Aug, 10pm AEST
Image Source: AP
Keen to learn more or engage the South Sudanese community in Australia? Contact our team at [email protected]