Refugee Yusra's Rio hopes

A team of refugees will compete at the Olympic Games in Rio this year. Yusra Mardini hopes to be one of them. Who is Mardini? She is one of the 43 refugees who are vying for the opportunity to compete at Rio as a part of the first-ever 'Refugee Olympic Athletes' team.

By Our Bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 21.03.16
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Calcutta: A team of refugees will compete at the Olympic Games in Rio this year. Yusra Mardini hopes to be one of them. Who is Mardini? She is one of the 43 refugees who are vying for the opportunity to compete at Rio as a part of the first-ever 'Refugee Olympic Athletes' team.

Last summer, Mardini was swimming through the Aegean ocean in a last-ditch attempt to survive a perilous sea crossing from Turkey to Greece. This summer, she hopes to swim in the Olympics. An incredible story.

According to a report in www.npr.org, the 18-year-old Syrian refugee has said that it was difficult maintaining her training during Syria's war.

"Trainings were cancelled - or held at pools that were then struck by explosives. She describes looking up at the roof over a pool and seeing the sky through holes blown by bombs," the report says.

Mardini fled her home in Damascus with her sister Sarah. Mardini has been training for the last five months, hoping to qualify for the Olympics. In the video released by the IOC, Mardini says she didn't want to sit around and cry. "It's tough. It was really hard, for everyone, and I don't blame anyone if they cried."