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Yusra: Swim for Your Life

Yusra Mardini went from swimming to survive as a Syrian refugee to swimming in the Rio Olympics.

It is a story which has made news around the world - the teenage Syrian refugee who swam to survive, and was then selected to compete in the pool for the refugee team at the Olympic Games in Rio.

Thanks to a partnership with Czech Radio, the BBC has unique access to her journey, as she travelled on foot to the Hungarian border, eventually making her way to Germany, and beginning a new life in Berlin. We also follow her training, her selection for the Games, and her experiences in Rio.

Yusra Mardini made a dramatic escape from her homeland. She and her sister jumped into the water to swim alongside an overcrowded boat as it threatened to sink in the sea between Turkey and Greece. Yusra was a junior international swimmer in Syria, and on arrival in Berlin, she has trained hard at a swimming club, finally winning selection for the Olympic Games in Rio in the newly-formed refugee team.

Yusra's story has captured the imagination of the world's media. Reporter/presenter Magdalena Sodomkova travelled with Yusra, her sister and other refugees as they approached the Hungarian border - long before there were any thoughts of the Olympics - and has remained close to her ever since, recording with her during her training in Berlin, and joining her in Rio, for the Olympic Games.

(Photo: Yusra Mardini of Syria during a training session at the Wasserfreunde Spandau, Berlin, 2016. Credit: Getty Images)

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50 minutes

Last on

Sun 18 Sep 2016 21:06GMT

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  • Sun 18 Sep 2016 11:06GMT
  • Sun 18 Sep 2016 21:06GMT

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