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Syrian Olympic Swimmer Yusra Mardini Launches Charitable Foundation for Refugees


Syrian Olympic swimmer Yusra Mardini is an inspiration for women across the region, given that not many make it to the Olympics and fewer still do so after the struggles of being a refugee fleeing from war. Now, Mardini sets a new standard for everyone to aspire towards with the launch of the Yusra Mardini Foundation.

“So much still has to change for refugees,” she stated in an Instagram post making the announcement. She adds, “I am grateful that through the Yusra Mardini Foundation, I will have the opportunity to push for that change, using the power of sports, which has been a central part of my life, to show the world: everyone must be treated equally.”


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A post shared by Yusra Mardini (@yusramardini)

The foundation is the culmination of a journey that took the 25-year-old athlete from war-stricken Damascus to Greece and eventually Germany, where she qualified for the Olympics. Having been through near-death experiences and facing a lack of opportunities due to her status as a refugee, Mardini now hopes to make life easier for others like her.

As such, the foundation is dedicated to improving sports and education access for refugees in addition to directly supporting refugee athletes not just to excel in their chosen fields but also to rebuild their lives in new countries. The ultimate goal for Mardini is to build a more tolerant world, one where cultural divides do not come in the way of helping those in need.

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