Butterfly by Yusra Mardini
From Refugee to Olympian - My Story of Rescue, Hope, and Triumph

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Butterfly tells the story, in Mardini’s own (ghostwritten) words, of how she got to that starting block. It is a story full of so much incident, put so plainly and at such a pace, that the reader begins to feel just as Mardini does about her late teens: “Things happen so fast there’s no time to reflect.”
-Guardian

Synopsis

The inspiring story of how one woman saved fellow refugees from drowning―and how she went on to become an Olympic swimmer.

When young Syrian refugee Yusra Mardini realized her boat's engine shut down as she was traveling from Syria to Greece with other refugees, there was no hesitation: she dove into the water. Surfacing, she heard desperate prayers and sobbing from the passengers in the sinking boat above her. Between the waves, her elder sister Sarah screamed at her to get back on the boat. But Mardini was determined. She was not going to let Sarah do this alone. Grabbing the rope with one hand, she began kicking up the black water, inching the boat towards the distant shore.

This bold act of bravery saved the lives of a boatload of refugees heading to Turkey from Syria. After her arrival in Greece, Mardini, focused and undeterred, worked toward a lifelong goal: to compete in the Olympics. She succeeded, and competed in 2016 on the Refugee Olympic Team in Rio de Janeiro.

Butterfly tells her story, from Syria to the Olympics to her current work with the UN as a Goodwill Ambassador. Mardini is eager to tell her story in the hopes that readers will remember that refugees are ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, chased from their homes by a devastating war. In today's political climate, this story is guaranteed to inspire and educate readers from every background.

 

About Yusra Mardini

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Published May 15, 2018 by St. Martin's Press. 274 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Aida Edemariam on May 09 2018

Butterfly tells the story, in Mardini’s own (ghostwritten) words, of how she got to that starting block. It is a story full of so much incident, put so plainly and at such a pace, that the reader begins to feel just as Mardini does about her late teens: “Things happen so fast there’s no time to reflect.”

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