Story of Syrian refugee Olympic swimmer saving 18 lives is truly inspiring

Yusra Mardini won her heat last night and has an amazing story to tell

The Olympics, by its nature, is a series of athletic and mental battles between a number of different athletes from different sports and different countries.

Every four years, a number of incredible stories emerge of perseverance, mental strength and determination but few will ever outdo Yusra Mardini, who is competing for the Refugee Team.

Mardini was fleeing Syria along with 17 other people including her sister last year when the little boat the passengers were in had motor problems before the two sisters pushed the boat for three hours due to the fact that nobody else in the boat could swim.

She had to remain positive throughout the experience because as she explains, there was a six-year-old boy on the point and she "had to smile because I didn't want them to feel like we are dying or something."

The same young woman won her heat last night in the Women's 100m butterfly and says that the incident as she was escaping Syria was not only necessary to save her life but a positive memory.

"I remember that without swimming I would never be alive maybe because of the story of this boat. It’s a positive memory for me." she says.

The 19-year-old now lives in Germany and wants to change perception of refugees and the dreams they have in fleeing their countries.

"I want everyone to think refugees are normal people who had their homelands and lost them not because they wanted to run away and be refugees, but because they have dreams in their lives and they had to go."

h/t to Independent