Tuesday, 09 August 2016 - 8:38
Yusra Mardini wins her 1st heat in 100-meter butterfly as part of Olympic refugee team
Last summer, Yusra Mardini was one of the thousands of Syrians making the desperate journey across the Mediterranean Sea on flimsy boats.
Midway through the voyage, the boat began sinking and 18-year-old Mardini and her sister jumped off and swam in the frigid waters for three hours, pulling the overcrowded dinghy towards their destination, Lesbos, Greece, saving some 20 other people onboard.
Not even 12 months later, Mardini, who now lives in Germany, took to the water again — but this time as a member of the Olympics' first-ever Team Refugees, winning the opening heat of the women's 100-meter butterfly race on Saturday.
Though Mardini's time of 1:09:21 doesn't qualify her for the semifinals, her extraordinary story has made headlines across the world.