Once upon a time there was a girl. She loved to swim and became her hobby and her dreams. But before that, she went through difficult times. This is the story of Yusra Madini.
Yusra was like any other girl who grew up in Damascus, Syria, and went to school there. Despite what happened later in her life, Yusra did not swim. While the other children were swimming, she was standing by the pool. Arranged in the mysterious water in the background. Yusra could barely see the ground and even if she could, a slight nervousness would overwhelm her. The water bothered her, but the fear was still under control.
One day, when Yusra looked at the water, he decided to do something unexpected. Yusra jumped into the pool and dived into the water. For a second, she gasped. Before she realized, Yusra was swimming. Yusra has become a very talented and competitive swimmer. And exceeded all expectations.
A problem arose a few years later because part of the population was not satisfied with the government. The government has shot dead brave people and protests that have expressed their opinions. It was an important problem that Yusra initially did not care about. But at the age of 13, the conflict became so severe that it became a civil war. Large groups of protesters gathered around Syria and fought against the government to conquer cities.
Yusra and her family were initially safe. As they lived in a quiet area of Damascus, the capital of Syria. But soon the fight is over. Bad news was heard every day and it got worse. One day, Yusra and her father went to the pools to exercise. They saw that the pool was in ruins before the bombing and shooting. Yusra could no longer train, her dreams were ruined. After a while, it couldn’t get worse, it got worse. The house of the Yusra was also destroyed. They had nothing left and could not go anywhere. Innocent people have been killed and lives have been destroyed!
Yusra’s family we were forced to go into hiding and each day they lived in fear. No knowing if they’ll be able to live to see the next day. At age 14 Yusra, saw only 1 way out. They had to leave Syria, in search for a better life. Yusra’s parents said no to the idea of leaving, as it would be too difficult. Especially with a Yusra’s little sister who was no older than a toddler. After a while Yusra’s mother made a plan to send Yusra and her older sister, with her 2 cousins on a risky trip to Europe. They had no other choice, it was unclear if the rest of the family would make it, but for now it was the best path.
Yusra would travel to where many other Syrian refugees had fled, Berlin Germany. There they could start a better life, and Yusra might be able to start swimming again. In Germany, she’d be able to train better and along-side many other great swimmers. Yusra left Syria, with some clothes a cell phone, and a small amount of money. The money was going to be used to pay the smugglers, as most countries don’t allow refugees. Yusra left one her dangerous journey to Europe.
They first traveled to Lebanon then Istanbul Turkey. As they went on their journey they dreaded the fact that they may get caught by the police. The police would surely send them back to Syria, where the war was still happening. From Istanbul, they went south to a coast in Turkey, which was close to a Greek Island called Lesbos. At the coast, the smugglers awaited, for the right time to get them on board a dingy, which would then take them to the island. It took 2 tries before they finally pushed the dingy out to sea at nightfall.
They landscape shrank as they quickly speed away into the darkness of the Mediterranean sea. Less than 20 minutes after they had left the coast. The dingy’s engine started to clang louder and they started to slow down, until finally they came to a halt. The dingy started to sink, It was only supposed to carry 6 people but the smugglers had fit 20 people on instead. Everyone panicked and started throwing any belongings overboard desperate to keep afloat. None of it helped, as they continued to sink in the middle of the Mediterranean sea.
Out of the 20 people on the dingy only 4 knew how to swim. They tried many other ways to save the dingy, but nothing worked. The four swimmers including Yusra and her older sister, jumped into the water and started pulling the dingy. Yusra was at the front using one arm to hold the rope and the other to help her swim. They started moving slowly but surely. They continued swimming the dinghy was heavy and Yusra was tired numb, and her eyes burned from the salt water. She continued to swim, she knew that if she didn’t do her and the rest of the refugees would die without a doubt. Yusra was determined!
After 3 and a half hour Yusra and the other swimmers sighted land and gained a burst of determination. There was no way they were giving up now, especially with the finish line in sight. Yusra and the refuges finally made it too land, the two other swimmers pulled the dinghy onto land. Yusra and the refuges hid in the cornfield where they waited for nightfall to make their move.
As they started they were sadly caught by the police. The police took them to a refugee camp not far from where they had arrived. As they were being transported Yusra and her sister started laughing. The police demanded to know what they found so funny. Yusra stated in her head” we were going to die in the sea, and now the police think we should be afraid of them”.
Yusra and her sister escaped the refuge camp, the first chance they got. Yes they had made it to the island, but they hadn’t reached their destination. They continued on their journey and crossed 9 more countries. Yusra and her sister arrived in Berlin Germany after a month. Things weren’t the best, and Yusra had to work hard.
She slept on the floor at the refuge camp, but she did join a swimming club. When she first tried out she was out of shape and didn’t do her best. But the Coach saw some good potential in her. Yusra’s technique was good and with some training Yusra could be amazing. So she started. She is training she’d wake up at 6:00 am so she could train before school, and then go back after her classes. Yusra was determined to reach her goal.
In the 2016 Olympics Yusra was asked to join the first refugee Olympics team. She competed in the 100 meter butterfly race and she won. Yusra is now training for the 2020 Olympics an at this rate, there is nothing stopping this girl from achieving her goals.
This is the story of Yusra Mudini, The End!