Yusra Mardini from The Swimmers did not win any medals in the 2016 Rio Olympics or the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Even if she desired to win a gold medal for her home country, she was unable to qualify for the semi-finals in both of the Olympics.
The Swimmers, directed by Sally El Hosaini, is a Netflix biographical movie about Syrian sisters Yusra and Sara Mardini who want to compete in the Olympics. When the Syrian civil war threatens their family, the two swimmers are forced to flee their country. Yusra and Sara join forces with their cousin Nizar Mardini and travel to Turkey, where they attempt to reach Greece in a dinghy. When the boat begins to sink, Yusra and Sara start swimming to the coast.
Because the dinghy could only hold 18 people, Yusra and Sara had to step out and jump in the water. Yusra started swimming for three hours to reach the Greek island of Lesbos. Yusra eventually made her way to Germany, where she met coach Sven Spannenkrebs of Wasserfreunde Spandau 04, a Berlin swimming club.
Later, Yusra represented the Refugee Olympic Team at the 2016 Rio as well as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with the assistance of Sven. But did she win the medal? Many people have been wondering and curious to know if she will actually win any medals in Olympics. Here is everything you need to know about her win.
Previously, we touched on Nathalie Issa.
The Swimmers: Yusra Mardini Did Not Win Any Medals in the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics!
Yusra Mardini (@yusramardini) from The Swimmers who competed in the 2016 Rio as well as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as a member of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team did not win any medals. Even though she desired to represent her home country of Syria and wanted to bring a gold medal, she was unable to do so due to the country's civil war.
However, the Syrian refugee who risked her life crossing the Mediterranean Sea did win the first heat of the women's 100-meter butterfly swimming competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on August 7. Yusra Mardini finished at 1:09:21, just under her entry time of 1:08:51.
Despite winning the hearts, the then-18-year-old was unable to advance to the semifinals. Her time placed her 41st overall, and only the top 16 swimmers advanced to the semifinal round. She then competed in the 100-meter freestyle but did not win her heat again.
Similarly, Mardini also competed in the 2020 Olympics for the second time in Tokyo, serving as the team flag bearer. And once again, she was unsuccessful to win the medal. She finished third with a time of 1:06.78 and was unable to qualify for the semifinals.
While competing in the Olympics and winning a medal was Mardini's dream, she believes that after representing the Refugee Team, the nature of her purpose has been elevated. She has evolved from "this little girl who was only interested in swimming and winning gold medals to escaping war and representing millions around the world," which has altered her perspective. She first felt the nudge of this feeling when she entered the Maracana Stadium for the Rio Olympics opening ceremony. She stated,
The moment I entered the stadium with this team, I saw everyone standing up. I saw the president stand up. I had goosebumps. And I will never forget that moment. That's when I realized it wasn't about me, but about millions of people all over the world. We received so many messages from refugees that we realized we had a duty to assist them all. Giving people hope is now far more important to me than winning a gold medal.
While she had previously competed on behalf of Syria in other international competitions, she did not have the same opportunities as she does now. For her what really matters was inspiring others and demonstrating to them that they, too, can triumph over all adversity and carve out a place for themselves in society.
She still hopes to compete again in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. However, she will no longer be a member of the Refugee Olympic Team once she obtains her German citizenship and will instead represent Germany if she gets qualified.
What Happened to Sara Mardini in Greece?
After the 2016 Rio Olympics, Sara Mardini joined Emergency Response Center International (ERCI), an NGO that provided translation and other services to refugees arriving on Lesbos. Sara was arrested in 2018, along with ERCI's field director Nassos Karakitsos and a German volunteer named Seán Binder, by Greek authorities.
According to the Greek police statement, Sara and her colleagues were active in the systematic facilitation of illegal entry of foreigners. She was then charged with smuggling, forgery, espionage, unauthorized use of radio frequencies, disclosure of state secrets, and fraud. Sara was imprisoned for 107 days before being released on bail.
However, the trial against her and her group is still ongoing in Greece which began in November 2021. Recently, she appeared in a Greek court in November 2022 to maintain her innocence. Sara will face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.