(AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

photo of Yusra Mardini (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

From Damascus to Rio: Swimming for freedom and glory

The story of the young woman is extraordinary and famous: search engines propose hundreds of references for Yusra Mardini. Nine months ago, she was on an overcrowded migrant boat when the engine failed. With her sister, both refugee girls jumped into the water and pushed the dinghy across the sea until they reached the Greek island of Lesbos. Yusra Mardini, 18 is living Germany and is now a member of the first Refugee Olympic Athletes team. She will compete in the Olympic Games in Brazil this summer.

UNHCR welcomes the IOC initiative : for the first time, a team of refugee athletes will compete under the Olympic flag, and the success of this operation is obvious. Terre des Hommes can only hope that such positive initiatives by the IOC will include in the future specific attention to the issue of families evicted from their homes ahead of the Games.

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