Among millions of Syrians forced to flee their home country in recent years, Yusra Mardini found an inspiring path. Anyone ever in need of perseverance while chasing a physical or personal goal can look to her story for guiding light.
A HARROWING JOURNEY
After a long journey fleeing through Europe in August 2015, her sister Sarah by her side, Mardini found herself on a sinking dinghy crossing the Mediterranean. The two sisters and another woman were the only passengers who could swim, and they successfully towed the boat to shore.
FOLLOWING A DREAM
Nearly a year later, Yusra Mardini is preparing for the Olympic games as, you guessed it, a swimmer. Training out of Berlin, she will compete for the ROA—Refugee Olympic Athletes—team at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio this August.
While her success is by no means a fluke (she represented Syria at the 2012 Short Course World Championships in Turkey), it’s highly unlikely. When pushed out of her home country by terrorists, Mardini couldn’t have been able to train or focus on the sport at all.
THE SPIRIT OF THE ROA
The ultimate use her talents to save a boat of other fleeing refugees, is a testament to tremendous heart and natural ability. When considering the character that embodies the heart and spirit of both the Olympics and the ROA team, it’s difficult to find a better fitting archetype than Yusra Mardini.