Yusra Mardini

This is Yusra Mardini.

She’s 18 years old and she’s from Syria.

She too, made the harrowing journey across the sea from Turkey to Lesvos, but when the motor of the boat her and her sister were in died in the middle of the sea, I literally can not believe what they did…

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Her and her sister, along with a family friend, another young girl, were the only people in the boat that could swim. I hear this a lot, many of the refugees I’ve met had never seen water, let alone ever had swimming lessons, and consequently are even more scared to make the crossing..(understandably, it’s bloody terrifying anyway!)

Anyway as the boat started filling with water, the girls took the lives of their fellow refugees into their own hands by jumping into the freezing water and pushing the boat as they swam.

I know…!?!

They swam for three and a half hours, the normally 45 minute crossing becoming an extreme endurance test…

The Mardini sisters say they kept swimming and swimming, and although they could see Lesvos in front of them, it felt like they would never reach the shore…

But eventually they made it to safety…only to be faced with the rest of their harrowing journey towards safety in Germany where they could finally be reunited with their mother, father and youngest sister.

They crossed Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Vienna and Munich, facing arrests, getting caught in refugee camps and many other obstacles…

But again, they made it, finally arriving in Berlin. And the best part…

Yusra is now putting her skills to amazing use and training to be part of an all-refugee team in the upcoming Olympics in Brazil.

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“Having no national team to belong to, having no flag to march behind, having no national anthem to be played, these refugee athletes will be welcomed to the Olympic games with the Olympic flag and with the Olympic anthem. They will have a home together with all the other 11,000 athletes,” said an Olympic committee president.

This girl is my hero. To not just overcome these obstacles, but with such positivity and strength, she says when she is in the water, she leaves all her problems behind and forgets everything…

So inspirational!

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