She Swam For Her Life To Greece, Now She Is Swimming For Olympic Gold

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Survival is the most common thought when you are fleeing from a country to get your family out safely. Safe shelter and sanitation seem like a norm but is a large undertaking, when you are escaping from a war torn environment. A teen Syrian refugee named Yusra Mardini did just that, fleeing from Damascus and setting the bar high for all others. Yusra is wanting to place in the Olympic games in Rio de Janeriro in 2016. Her story is heroic and dreams are clear, she wants to prove to the world, you can rise from the bottom with hard work.

Yusra’s story starts out in the Aegean Sea, with 20 other refugees all escaping to Greece for a better life. When their boat motor gave out, already fleeing police custody on the shore of Syria, this was not something that 18-year-old Yusra Mardini was expecting. Luckily Yusra was strong, with 3 other teens jumping out of the boat and starting to swim and push it to shore. She had trained in swimming since she was a child, these skills had proven to save her life and the 17 others in the boat. After swimming for 3 and half hours they finally reached Greece’s shores.

This was not the end of her journey, she was traveling with her sister and needed to get to Germany to meet the rest of their family. After crossing the Aegean Sea, they had 25 more days of travel till they finally reached their destination. Finally reaching Germany, Yusra was ready to train. Finding out that the Olympic Games Executive Board has created a refugee team this year, she wanted one of the 5 to 10 spots.

Driven to prove to the world that, “it’s hard to arrive at your dreams but it’s not impossible”. Yusra has a few seconds to take off of her best time and is training hard to do so. She will find out in a few months whether or not she made the team. Showing the world that anything is possible.

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Jessica Tripoli


Jessica begins each day with a joke that she shares with the team in order to build spirits up. Most agree that if it weren’t for Rebecca and her comical demeanor, the office just wouldn’t be the same. She brings that talent into her work by creating stories that bring laughter to people’s day.