Yusra Mardini has already proven what she is made of as the 18-year old swimmer from Syria saved the lives of 20 fellow refugees when they were crossing the Mediterranean Sea in hopes of reaching the shores of Greece.
Just two years ago the overcrowded dinghy that Mardini and her sister were traveling on from Turkey to Greece experience problems with the motor breaking down, leaving the migrants stranded in the sea.
Mardini, who represented Syria at the 2012 FINA World Swimming Championships, wasn’t about to let the Mediterranean Sea become her graveyard. The sound swimmer along with her sister and one other women took to the water and pushed the boat until it reached the shores of Lesvos.
“Only four out of 20 on the boat knew how to swim,” Mardini said to rio2016.com.
“It would have been shameful if the people on our boat had drowned. I wasn’t going to sit there.”
Since leaving her homeland of Syria, Mardini has traveled through Greece and has settled into her new life in Germany.
The young swimmer said that while at the Olympics she will be thinking of her family, coach and friends who helped her throughout her athletic career back in Syria and that she hopes to inspire other Syrians and refugees.
Watch Yursra Mandrini express in her own words what she hopes to accomplish at Rio 2016: