Baku, May 3, AZERTAC
Norwegian wrestler Grace Bullen will come to Baku 2015 after a tough past as African war refugee.
Bullen has been nominated by the Norwegian Olympic officials to compete in Freestyle Wrestling at the Baku 2015 European Games. The 18-year-old will arrive in Azerbaijan as a podium contender after having won 60kg women's gold at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in China, where she was the Norwegian flag-bearer.
Bullen will also compete at Baku 2015 with a difficult past behind her.
In 2001 at 4 years old, Bullen and her family had to flee war-torn South Sudan, being split from the grandparents who stayed in Sudan.
Bullen and her family eventually started a new life in Norway as war refugees.
Bullen remembers running at night, hearing shots and seeing dead people. She can also recall the family being awakened by soldiers at night and having to flee to the forest.
“I remember there were many cars and people with weapons who drove past while we lay by the wayside. We had to wait until they had gone,” said Bullen.
“A bit further on, someone tried to cross the road. We heard shots, and nothing more. I think maybe we were there a few days.”
After going through experiences like that, it's not a surprise that Bullen wants to take advantage of every opportunity she gets.
“Not everyone in my home country has the opportunity to attend school, so I will take advantage of the opportunities I have. Not everyone from the place I come from has the opportunity that I have received,” Bullen said.