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Yusra Mardini

Yusra

When professional swimmer Yusra (born 1998) and her elder sister boarded a dinghy to Europe to flee the war in Syria, the boat engine failed and she, her sister, and two others jumped into the ocean and swam 3½ hours to get help to stop their dinghy from capsizing and drowning all the passengers.

Yusra's heroism earned her a spot on the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team, and she competed in the 2016 Olympics as a representative of 65 million displaced people around the world. She has continued into activism while continuing to pursue her swimming career, and will compete at the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.