An 18-year-old Syrian refugee who literally swam for her life will now be competing in the Olympics, after coaches spotted her incredible talent during her courageous journey. Yusra Mardini is set to become one of the most notable faces of the Games, having been one of ten athletes chosen to compete for the Refugee Olympic Team under the Olympic flag.
Yusra was among scores of migrants fleeing war-torn Syria, who made a difficult and dangerous journey to Europe via boat. Thirty minutes into their journey, the overcrowded boat started to fill with water. With the help of her sister, Sarah, and two men, Yusra dove into the biting cold water and pushed the dinghy for over three hours to the Greek island of Lesbos.
The German-based athlete explained how she felt she was living “a dream come true” just 11 months after her courageous journey and her unrelenting fighting spirit remains unaffected.“I want everyone to think of their dreams because a lot of people out there forget their dreams. My message at these games is – just never give up”.