Chosen because of their ability to effect change and their wide range of sometimes differing opinions, the speakers will lead lively debates and seek to challenge received wisdom to inspire new ways of thinking. 18 -year-old Yusra Mardini left Syria for Europe on a boat packed with refugees. But the focus remains on her training, which is at least 30 hours a week. She became the youngest Goodwill Ambassador to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in April 2017 as a champion of refugees all over the world. He was tough and both Yusra and Sarah were soon training three times a week and competing. Spannekrebs was amazed at how quickly Yusra improved, despite having had her training disrupted by war. Olympic refugee team member Yusra Mardini prepares to swim laps Thursday at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium ahead of the Rio Olympics. We are doctors and engineers and teachers. One of Yusra’s earliest memories is of her father making them watch Michael Phelps win the 100m butterfly at the 2004 Olympics. People started to pray. Yusra Mardini was part of the Refugee Olympic Athletes Team that competed under the Olympic flag at the Rio Olympics. He was tough and both Yusra and Sarah were soon training three times a week and competing. The Pandemic in Refugee Communities Yusra highlighted that many refugees don’t have access to the same medical resources, food or shelter that we do. 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. They were shocked when they saw their boat: an inflatable dinghy meant for six people. Rio 2016 Olympics, day one: What you might have missed Now living and training in Germany, Mardini is competing in Brazil under the banner of … The initial plan was for Yusra to aim for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, but word began to seep out that the International Olympic Committee were thinking about having a refugee team at the 2016 Rio Olympics. As many as 5000 refugees sometimes queued through the night. Tokyo 2020 . C. Yusra Mardini is an Olympic swimmer and an ambassador for refugees who originally came from Syria. After training one night, a mortar slammed into the ground just in front of where she and Sarah were walking. Mardini grew up in Syria. Olympic Games. Yusra Mardini, swimming for the Refugee Olympic Team, competes in a women's 100m butterfly heat during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics… She was part of the first ever Refugee Olympic Team. 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, ever heard of this name? “But I was thinking about the children on the boat more than me. Families were torn apart; people disappeared. Although she has found the attention often overwhelming, Yusra takes it in her stride, especially now that the rest of her family have joined her in Berlin. In Syria, d eveloping her talent as a swimmer was a challenge. Ahead of competing at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Yusra Mardini, along with the nine other athletes that make up the Olympic Refugee Team were sent a letter by Pope Francis. Mardini and her fellow swimmers’ efforts prevented their small dinghy from capsizing, which saved the lives of the 20 people onboard. Yusra Mardini, swimming for the Refugee Olympic Team, competes in a women's 100m butterfly heat during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, … She became the youngest Goodwill Ambassador to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in April 2017 as a champion of refugees all over the world. Yusra found it difficult at first, but the club gave the sisters a community and German friends. “We think about our futures. A biography in rhyme relates the story of Olympic swimmer and Syrian refugee Yusra Mardini. But Yusra Mardini, Olympic swimmer, knows to expect the unexpected. The civil war began in March 2011, when the Syrian authorities arrested and tortured teenage school boys they believed had scrawled anti- government graffti on a wall. In August 2012, fighting broke out in Daraya as the government tried to wrest control of the suburb. “One story must speak for many.”. This story is inspiring, will bring you to tears, and will open your eyes to many of the issues … “I am Syrian in my heart, in my mind, in my soul, but I am living in Germany now, so I respect that. Olympic refugee team member Yusra Mardini prepares to swim laps Thursday at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium ahead of the Rio Olympics. An assistant coach, Khamis Agear, is also from Syria. After contacting a smuggler, Yusra, Sarah, their relatives and some other refugees were driven to a forest on the western Turkish coast. “I was on the bus,” says Yusra, who was 13, “and people started whispering, ‘This is what they did to the kids.’” Soon there were demonstrations against the government, provoking a spiral of military reprisals and rebel counterattacks. She was a member of the Refugee Olympic Athletes Team (ROT), that competed under the Olympic flag at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Yusra Mardini Rami Anis and Yusra Mardini at the training pool, July 28, 2016. The others had their country flags as their identities and Yusra had her’s too but a different one. A swimmer she is. But Mardini’s road to the Olympics isn’t your typical story. Yusra Mardini Yusra Mardini surges to victory in her heat of the women’s 100m butterfly, drawing huge cheers from the crowd at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium. In 2016, Yusra’s lifelong dream came true — she competed at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, joining fellow refugees under the Olympic flag as part of the Refugee Olympic Team. If four years ago Refugee Olympic Team swimmer Yusra Mardini was a wide-eyed first-time Olympian at Rio 2016, the Syrian native, now 22, is a self-assured international athlete, best-selling author, United Nations ambassador and so much more. This is her incredible story. If resilience and luck had taken Yusra that far, they weren’t about to desert her. In 2016, Yusra’s lifelong dream came true — she competed at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, joining fellow refugees under the Olympic flag as part of the Refugee Olympic Team. Today, she continues to train for her next goal: competing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. At 18-years-old, Mardini competed in the 200-metre freestyle swimming event. She swam for this country in many swimming competitions. In fact, she hated it. Yusra Mardini is a Syrian refugee swimmer who … “The secret of Yusra’s success is that she is 100 per cent authentic,” believes Marc Heinkelein, her manager. The rest of their 25-day journey through Europe, along a trail being taken by hundreds of thousands of other refugees that summer, was humiliating. Hundreds of refugees were waiting in the sweltering heat, corralled by gangs of armed smugglers. According to the International Organization for Migration, 1,004,356 refugees crossed the Mediterranean to Europe that year. Now Hollywood wants to tell her story. Syrian refugee Yusra Mardini will compete at the Rio Olympics. The IOC hopes to narrow it down and launch a team of between five and ten athletes for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Almost every morning, a Syrian girl with a winning smile takes a deep breath and dives into the Olympic swimming. Reviews A talented swimmer with Olympic dreams, Yusra Mardini trains daily, despite unrest in her native Syria. Childhood friends were killed. The noise of gunfire, mortars and bombs was constant. Born in Damascus, Syria, in 1998, Mardini learned to swim with her father at age four, and by 2012, she had participated in the World Championships in Istanbul. the western Turkish coast. “You feel as if you’re not human,” Yusra recalls. “The war was hard," says Yusra Mardini, a Syrian refugee living in Germany. And at present, there is no indication that the IOC will repeat the experiment of allowing a refugee team at the next Olympics. Hundreds of refugees were waiting in the sweltering heat, corralled by gangs of armed smugglers. Daraya was heavily bombed and, after government paramilitaries moved in, an estimated 1000 people were killed in three days. Her dream of participating in the Olympic Games came true with the Refugee Olympic Team at the Rio 2016 Games. In 2017, Mardini was appointed the youngest-ever UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. When the conflict intensifies, her father arranges for her … pool on the outskirts of Berlin. “If I am going to be realistic,” says Yusra, who at 5’5’’ is small for a swimmer, “I know it will be really good if I am in the top 20 or 40 in the world. 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. 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. Yusra competed at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, helping to represent 65 million displaced people worldwide. She has given speeches at the United Nations and to the World Economic Forum in Davos. At 18-years-old, Mardini competed in the 200-metre freestyle swimming event. One of the most inspiring athletes of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil was Yusra Mardini. Yusra Mardini, a Syrian refugee who once swam to save her life while fleeing across the Mediterranean Sea, won the opening heat of the women’s 100-meter butterfly swimming competition at … “I thought it would be a real shame if I drowned,” Yusra said with typical nonchalance after her story became known, “because I am a swimmer.”. Yusra Mardini was among 10 athletes named on Friday by the International Olympic Committee for a refugee team at the games. Born in Damascus, Syria, in 1998, Mardini learned to swim with her father at age four, and by 2012, she had participated in the World Championships in Istanbul. Ysura is a young refugee from Syria who goes on to become an Olympic swimmer. “Sometimes I had to stay under the table or sleep in a bed with my family because we could hear shooting and tanks.”. You may have seen Yusra Mardini at the 2016 Rio Olympics. As a youth, Yusra trained as a swimmer with the support of the Syrian Olympic Committee. You may have seen Yusra Mardini at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The migration crisis of 2015 was horrifying and deadly. But Mardini’s road to the Olympics isn’t your typical story. “Yes, we are refugees, but we are normal human beings,” Yusra, 20, tells me she wants people to know. The club let Yusra and Sarah try out. She also still has her eye on Tokyo 2020 in 12 months’ time. On 27 April 2017, Mardini was appointed a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. She’s been appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). One of Yusra’s earliest memories is of her father making them watch Michael Phelps win the 100m butterfly at the 2004 Olympics. Almost every morning, a Syrian girl with a winning smile takes a deep breath and dives into the Olympic swimming pool on the outskirts of Berlin. The 18-year-old Mardini said she was at home when the news arrived. Everything in her life has happened pretty unexplainably, quickly and shockingly, – yet she’s always got through it. She swam for this country in many swimming competitions. Mardini, who fled her native Syria in 2015, is one of 10 athletes competing under the Olympic flag as part of the “Team of Refugee Olympic Athletes” in Rio de Janeiro. In the summer of 2015, Mardini’s 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. Syrian professional swimmer who is recognized for having been a member of the Refugee Olympic Athletes Team. When Yusra was just four, Ezzat threw her into the pool. The Pandemic in Refugee Communities Yusra highlighted that many refugees don’t have access to the same medical resources, food or shelter that we do. 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. Yusra Mardini might currently be training twice a day, every day, for two hours, in the run up to the Tokyo Olympics, but she didn't always like swimming. skip to content. 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. The civil war has claimed the lives of 465,000 people. “She is a very positive person with tremendous energy and will.” With Hollywood clamouring, Heinkelein negotiated the deal to bring Yusra’s story to the screen. Syrian swimmer Yusra Mardini has dreamt of the Olympics since she was a child. One of the most inspiring athletes of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil was Yusra Mardini. At conferences such as Davos, she speaks without notes. In 2015, Yusra Mardini almost drowned in the Mediterranean while fleeing the civil war in Syria. “She learned really fast. I was feeling sorry about how many people had been forced to do that. After four weeks I said to her, ‘Our goal must be the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,’ ” he told UNHCR. When they caught a train to the Hungarian border, they were thrown off by the police. I was feeling sorry about how many people had been forced to do that. “But Yusra’s aerobic level was very bad and she had lost her feeling for the water.” The club let the sisters train and offered them accommodation, so they were able to move out of the camp. Javascript must be enabled for the correct page display. They set off at around 7pm, the dinghy so weighed down that water filled up the bottom with every wave. Then Yusra's father disappeared. She has met the Pope and Barack Obama. “Technically, they were really good,” says Sven Spannekrebs, a coach at the centre. Official profile of Olympic athlete Yusra MARDINI (born 05 Mar 1998), including games, medals, results, photos, videos and news. Yusra Mardini: Olympic Syrian refugee who swam for three hours in sea to push sinking boat carrying 20 to safety. She also still has her eye on Tokyo 2020 in 12 months’ time. From Syria to Rio: refugee Yusra Mardini targets Olympic swimming spot The 18-year-old is hoping to make the IOC’s Refugee Olympic Athletes team only … coach at a sports complex near their home in Damascus. 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. Olympic Games; Olympic Winter Games; Youth Olympic Games; All . “But I was thinking about the children on the boat more than me. Maybe our story was hard, but there were people who had lost their families and this was the only way they had.”. Since then, Yusra has addressed the United Nations General Assembly and met world leaders such as US President Barack Obama and Pope Francis. Beijing 2022 . 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. Heinkelein also set up a lucrative contract for Yusra to be an ambassador for clothing brand Under Armour. In 2012, she represented Syria at the FINA World Swimming Championships. In 2015, Yusra Mardini almost drowned in the Mediterranean while fleeing the civil war in Syria. Born in Syria in 1998, Yusra Mardini knows the meaning of hard. Seven months after fleeing the Syrian capital of Damascus, Syrian refugee swimmer Yusra Mardini is hoping to qualify for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and join the Team of Refugee Olympic Athletes (ROA). “It’s higher than I ever saw for someone who had left swimming.”. (Yusra and Sarah’s trip was financed with family savings.) 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. Now Hollywood wants to tell her story. There would be 20 of them, including an Iraqi woman with a baby and two young children. Yusra and Sarah queued for two days for a temporary residence permit, which allowed them to buy a ticket on a ferry to the mainland. Miraculously, as they lay recovering, the engine spluttered back into life and they moved quickly towards Lesbos. "S ometimes we couldn’t train because of the war. If four years ago Refugee Olympic Team swimmer Yusra Mardini was a wide-eyed first-time Olympian at Rio 2016, the Syrian native, now 22, is a self-assured international athlete, best-selling author, United Nations ambassador and so much more. Yusra Mardini (Arabic: يسرى مارديني‎; born 5 March 1998) is a Syrian swimmer currently living in Hamburg, Germany. Yusra Mardini is a Syrian swimmer currently living in Germany. “Without swimming,” says Yusra Mardini, an Olympic athlete from Syria, “I don’t think I survive.” For Mardini, 18, this statement is no emotional exaggeration. Growing up, life in Syria was good for a family like the Mardinis. She might be able to swim for Syria, but that is fraught with political complications. From Syria to Rio: refugee Yusra Mardini targets Olympic swimming spot The 18-year-old is hoping to make the IOC’s Refugee Olympic Athletes team only a … Yusra grew up in Syria, and she and her sister trained daily to earn spot on the Syrian National swim team. Yusra Mardini: Olympic Syrian refugee who swam for three hours in sea In their desperation to escape conflict in Syria, Mardini and her sister climbed on board a … In the two and a half years since she arrived in Europe, Yusra – pronounced “eesra” – has competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics. (CNN) It took Yusra Mardini a long time to come around to the notion of being a refugee. Now Hollywood wants to tell her story. She has written a memoir, , and a feature film about her, directed by Stephen Daldry, the Oscar-winning director of, As lofty as her achievements have been since she fled Syria, Yusra’s focus is now back on swimming. We care about our kids. Olympic refugee team member Yusra Mardini prepares to swim laps at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium ahead of the Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thurs,, July 28, 2016. “Then I realised that it was an opportunity that would not come to a lot of people.” Yusra didn’t expect to win a medal, and she was knocked out in the second round. She was going to swim in the Olympics for Syria, but then she had to (CNN) It took Yusra Mardini a long time to come around to the notion of being a refugee. Yusra Mardini: Refugee Hero and Olympic Swimmer, by Kelly Spence, focuses on Yusra’s journey and her story of survival before she joined the team. Sarah and Yusra, among the only ones who could swim, also jumped in. 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. A volunteer at the refugee camp told her there was a. well-known swimming program at the Wasserfreunde Spandau 04, part of the Olympic Park complex nearby. “We offered them $500, just for water or juice, but they said they were not allowed to sell to us.”. The largest number, 214,266, came from Syria. She survived thanks to her swimming skills – and, just a year later, competed at the Rio Olympics. Yusra Mardini: Refugee Hero and Olympic Swimmer, by Kelly Spence, focuses on Yusra’s journey and her story of survival before she joined the team. But life was not as simple as swim practice for young Yusra. “I was thinking, ‘This is my end now,’” she says. Yusra Mardini is an Olympic swimmer and was a member of the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. “The restaurants on Lesbos would not give us anything, food or water,” says Yusra. Yusra Mardini: Olympic Syrian refugee who swam for three hours in sea to push sinking boat carrying 20 to safety. 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. Now a refugee in Germany, she hopes to make her dream come true. Yusra Mardini is a Syrian swimmer who competed in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. 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. But in 2011, a … On September 7, they finally arrived at a large refugee camp in Berlin’s west. Yusra’s father, Ezzat, worked as a swimming. She has met the Pope and Barack Obama. Yusra was onl I bet most of you haven’t. “Her progress has been fascinating,” says Spannekrebs, who has become something of an older brother to Yusra and now supervises her training. Over the following days, sometimes walking, sometimes taking buses provided by smugglers for hundreds of euros, they travelled through Macedonia and Serbia to Budapest. "For a whole day we didn't know what had happened to him." The refugees each had to pay $1500 for the 10-kilometre journey to the Greek island of Lesbos. Another day, a rocket-propelled grenade smashed through the roof and landed, unexploded, in the bottom of the pool where Yusra was swimming. Swimmers Yusra Mardini (L) and Rami Anis both made the refugee Olympic team after fleeing the war in Syria.

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