After contacting a smuggler, Yusra, Sarah, their relatives and some other refugees were driven to a forest on the western Turkish coast. One of the most inspiring athletes of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil was Yusra Mardini. The civil war has claimed the lives of 465,000 people. She was Yusra, a Syrian refugee. There were five women at the 2016 Rio Olympics waiting to ace the 100 meters butterfly but there was one who was special. Yusra grew up in Syria, and she and her sister trained daily to earn spot on the Syrian National swim team. In August 2012, fighting broke out in Daraya as the government tried to wrest control of the suburb. As she dives again into the water, her babyish face hidden behind goggles, Yusra uses the memory of that traumatic journey and the bloody civil war from which she escaped to power her dreams. Much of their first, freezing Berlin winter was spent queueing, as they and tens of thousands of other refugees fulfilled the arduous German bureaucratic formalities. “You feel as if you’re not human,” Yusra recalls. Yusra Mardini fled Syria almost a year ago and is now part of a special refugee team at the the Olympic Games in Rio.. Mardini, only eighteen years old, was born in a Christian family of Damascus , where she stood out for its excellent academic results and started to swim, with the support of the Syrian Olympic … Yusra Mardini is not a household name, but she was one of 10 athletes on Team Refugee in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. We are doctors and engineers and teachers. She has written a memoir, Butterfly, and a feature film about her, directed by Stephen Daldry, the Oscar-winning director of The Hours and Billy Elliot, is now in the works. As she rips through the water with a butterfly stroke honed from a lifetime of swimming, Yusra Mardini never forgets how close she came to drowning in the Mediterranean in 2015 as she fleed the civil war in Syria. She lives in a at near the Olympic Park with her mother and sister; her father lives nearby. Syrian professional swimmer who is recognized for having been a member of the Refugee Olympic Athletes Team. As a youth, Yusra trained as a swimmer with the support of the Syrian Olympic Committee. She has given speeches at the United Nations and to the World Economic Forum in Davos. She became the youngest Goodwill Ambassador to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in April 2017 as a champion of refugees all over the world. “Yes, we are refugees, but we are normal human beings,” Yusra, 20, tells me she wants people to know. Beijing 2022 . Childhood friends were killed. But Mardini’s road to the Olympics isn’t your typical story. “Then I realised that it was an opportunity that would not come. Yusra was onl “One story must speak for many.”. Using the unique power of sport to bring people together, the Olympism in Action Forum sees a range of global players, including Olympic Movement stakeholders, athletes, private and public sector leaders, NGO representatives, academics, artists and the media come together to talk on topical contemporary issues. The civil war began in March 2011, when the Syrian authorities arrested and tortured teenage school boys they believed had scrawled anti-, In August 2012, fighting broke out in Daraya as the government tried to, When Yusra and Sarah discovered that one of their father’s cousins was, After contacting a smuggler, Yusra, Sarah, their relatives and some other refugees were driven to a forest on. One of Yusra’s earliest memories is of her father making them watch Michael Phelps win the 100m butterfly at the 2004 Olympics. At conferences such as Davos, she speaks without notes. (Yusra and Sarah’s trip was financed with family savings.) We are educated, but we just don’t have the chance to continue our normal lives because of war.”, As lofty as her achievements have been since she fled Syria, Yusra’s focus is now back on swimming. C. Yusra Mardini is an Olympic swimmer and an ambassador for refugees who originally came from Syria. Two swimmers were selected for the team, one male and one female; Rami Anis, originally from Syria but now training in Belgium and Yusra Mardini also originally from Syria but now living in Germany. Out of Syria’s prewar population of around 21 million, 5.5 million people are now refugees; more than 12 million have been internally displaced. Since then, Yusra has addressed the United Nations General Assembly and met world leaders such as US President Barack Obama and Pope Francis. One man jumped into the sea, so the boat would sit higher in the water. “We think about our futures. After training one night, a mortar slammed into the ground just in front of where she and Sarah were walking. "S ometimes we couldn’t train because of the war. It’s not clear which country Yusra might represent at the Tokyo Olympics – she does not yet have German nationality and it will be dfficult for her to get into the very competitive German team. Hundreds of refugees were waiting in the sweltering heat, corralled by gangs of armed smugglers. Swimmers Yusra Mardini (L) and Rami Anis both made the refugee Olympic team after fleeing the war in Syria. Ezzat had been abducted by paramilitaries, strung up by his feet, beaten and tortured, before they realised he was not the man they were looking for. Yusra competed at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, helping to represent 65 million displaced people worldwide. A biography in rhyme relates the story of Olympic swimmer and Syrian refugee Yusra Mardini. As the crowd erupted in applause for swimmer Yusra Mardini at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, it was hard to believe the teenager nearly drowned at sea just a year earlier escaping war in Syria. In the summer of 2015, Mardiniâs life changed forever when she and her sister Sarah decided to flee the civil war in Syria, enduring a difficult and turbulent path to safety. The IOC hopes to narrow it down and launch a team of between five and ten athletes for the 2016 Rio Olympics. “The restaurants on Lesbos would not give us anything, food or water,” says Yusra. Everything in her life has happened pretty unexplainably, quickly and shockingly, – yet she’s always got through it. Her dream of participating in the Olympic Games came true with the Refugee Olympic Team at the Rio 2016 Games.Â In 2017, Mardini was appointed the youngest-ever UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. Forty people died from a suicide bomb near Yusra’s mother’s work. Reviews A talented swimmer with Olympic dreams, Yusra Mardini trains daily, despite unrest in her native Syria. "He didn't answer his phone," she says. Olympic refugee team member Yusra Mardini prepares to swim laps Thursday at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium ahead of the Rio Olympics. They waited four days, with almost no food and little water. pool on the outskirts of Berlin. Maybe our story was hard, but there, Yusra found it difficult at first, but the club gave the sisters a community, “I thought, ‘If I am with the refugee team, people are going to feel pity for me,’” she says. Yusra Mardini is a Syrian swimmer currently living in Germany. Anis was 25 years old at the time of the Rio Olympics. 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