Many of you have probably heard about the incredibly badass swimmer from Syria Yusra Mardini. She has been making headlines for several days now because of her inspiring story, her immense talent, and her willingness to use her own experiences to raise awareness.
Here are a few reasons we love her:
She is a swimming beast
Mardini has been swimming since she was just three years old. She represented Syria at the Short Course World Championships in Turkey in 2012. Despite losing two years of training due to the war, she still qualified for Rio. She has made us all proud during her time at the Olympics, winning her first heat of the 100m butterfly.
She’s incredibly resilient
Mardini was only 13 years old when war broke out in Syria in 2011. In 2012 her home was destroyed. Even the pool where she trained was riddled with danger. Yet she continued to pursue her dreams by training as much as she could.
She is a powerful voice for refugees
All Olympic athletes are admirable for their hard work and superhuman strength. Mardini, however, seems to have another gift besides her swimming skills. She has captured the hearts of people around the world by speaking about her own experiences, stating publicly that she wants to inspire the world to identify with the plight of refugees.
She is a hero
Mardini has made tons of headlines for the fact helped save the lives of 20 other refugees, by jumping off her sinking boat in the Aegean Sea and using her swimming abilities to help push everyone to safety. No gold medal could ever truly reward this heroic feat she accomplished.
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