YUSRA MARDINI is the most prominent of them all. At her first Olympic appearance five years ago in Brazil, she made headlines around the world as a teenager with her moving refugee story: an odyssey through eight countries, alone with her sister during which the two of them, among other things, dragged an overcrowded and then broken, rubber dinghy behind them for three and a half hours before arriving in Lesbos.
However, for the Syrian-born Mardini, who has lived in Germany since fleeing in 2015 and is competing for the international refugee team for the second time since 2016, it is very much a special moment. “For me, Tokyo is even more emotional than Rio de Janeiro,” she said upon being nominated.
She is now an ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and was once received by the Pope. While a book on her life has already been published, a film is currently being made about her, which will be available on Netflix next year.
According to People magazine in the United States, she is currently one of the “25 Women Changing the World.”
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