But the IOC ruled Saturday that Marial would be allowed to compete under the Olympic flag at the event, one of four athletes participating under that distinction. 

Shaheen, who wrote a letter lobbying IOC president Jacques Rogge earlier this week to allow Marial to participate, applauded the decision in a statement Saturday. 

"The Olympics is about bringing people together, it's about international cooperation and fierce competition," said Shaheen. "I am glad that Guor Marial will have a chance to run alongside the world's best athletes this summer in London. His story of perseverance in the face of adversity is inspirational and what the Olympics is all about. He has made New Hampshire very proud and I look forward to cheering him on as he competes under the great Olympic flag."