Yusra Mardini (born in 1997 or 1998) is a Syrian swimmer, who now resides in Berlin, Germany, and may be representing a small team of Refugee Olympic Athletes (ROA) under the Olympic flag, at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Growing up in Damascus, Mardini trained in swimming with the support of the Syrian Olympic Committee. In 2012, she represented Syria in the 2012 FINA World Swimming Championships (25 m) 200 metre individual medley, 200 metre freestyle and 400 metre freestyle events.
Mardini's house was destroyed in the Syrian Civil War. Yusra and her sister, Sarah, decided to flee Syria in August 2015. They reached Lebanon, and then Turkey, where they arranged to be smuggled into Greece by boat with 18 other refugees, though the boat was meant to be used by no more than six or seven people. After their motor stopped working and their dinghy began to take on water in the Aegean Sea, Mardini, her sister, and another person who was able to swim, got into the water and pushed the boat for over three hours, until it reached Lesbos. They then traveled through Europe to Germany, where they settled in Berlin in September 2015. Her parents also fled Syria and live in Germany...
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