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Yusra Mardini Goodwill Ambassador


Yusra Mardini Goodwill Ambassador

Yusra Mardini announced at Goodwill Ambassador

Yusra Mardini, who fled Syria and competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, was the youngest participant at the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Now 20, she made her way to the Turkish coast in 2015 and boarded an inflatable boat carrying refugees to Greece. When the vessel broke down, Yusra and her sister jumped into the sea and swam for hours, pushing the boat to shore on the Greek island of Lesvos and saving many lives.

In April 2018 Yusra visited Sicily with UNHCR, meeting refugees and asylum seekers whose experiences of perilous sea crossings reflected her own story of flight from Syria.

“Since Rio I’ve been training hard but I’ve also been thinking a lot about what I can do to help refugees across the world,” she says. “The most important thing in my life is swimming. Then speaking and doing things to help refugees.”

1. Photos and Video:

  • Content related to Yusra's 2018 visit to Sicily is accessible here: photosvideo.  In addition, dozens of photos and videos of Yusra training, competing, speaking in public and giving interviews are available via Refugees Media.

2. Facebook Live

  • Yusra spoke on Facebook Live from the World Economic Forum's page on Wednesday, 18 January, at 11am CET.

3. Background

  • Yusra's UNHCR web page [English]
  • Syrian swimmer Yusra Mardini plunges into life after Rio Games [English] [French] [Arabic] – 24 January 2017
  • I am Yusra. I am a refugee and I’m proud to stand for peace [English] [French] – 11 January 2017
  • Syrian refugee uses swimming skills to rescue others [English] [French] [Arabic] – 27 December 2016
  • Refugee team takes centre stage ahead of Opening Ceremony [English] [French] – 12 December 2016
  • These 10 refugees will compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio [English] [French] – 3 June 2016
  • Syrian refugee eyes Rio Olympics [English] – 18 March 2016

4. Media Contacts

Interview requests should be directed to: