Yusra Mardini, the refugee who swam three and a half hours with a boat through open waters, won the 100m butterfly swimming competition at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.
The swimmer who made headlines before the Olympics for jumping off a refugee boat and pushing it to Greece, won the first heat with the time of 1:09.21.
Yusra Mardini who is competing with the refugee team at the Olympics, was born and raised in Damascus, Syria. She have represented her country in the 2012 FINA World Swimming Championship, with the support and backing of the Syrian Olympic Committee.
After Mardini’s family lost their house in the war, she and her sister decided to flee to somewhere safer. Through Lebanon and then Turkey, the girls arranged to be smuggled into Europe along with 18 other people, on a boat fit for six.
When the engines failed, Mardini, along with her sister and two other people got into the waters and pushed the boat to the shores of Lesbos. The reached the Greek island after more than three and a half hours.
Yusra Mardini won her 100m butterfly heat to a crowd cheering their lungs off. However, she finished 41st overall and didn’t clock in to qualify to the semi-finals.