Yusra Mardini's incredible story has taken another turn, as the Syrian refugee and Olympic swimmer recently signed an endorsement deal with Under Armour.
"I shouldn't be alive today," Mardini says in a promotional video released by Under Armour. "I should have been one of the many faceless refugees who died along the way. But I am here. Because I kept moving."
In 2012, Mardini's home was destroyed in the early stages of the Syrian war, prompting her and her sister to make the perilous journey to Europe. A New York Times profile tells her incredible story in detail, but here is the condensed version:
The Mardinis flew from Demascus to Istanbul, Turkey, before they were bused to Izmir. There, they waited four days before boarding a bus headed for the Greek island of Lesbos. But just a few hours into the trip, the boat's engine failed and the vessel began to take on water. Mardini and her sister swam three and a half hours through choppy seas at night while pushing the boat, and they miraculously made it to Lesbos safely.
Mardini then travelled through Europe and settled at a refugee camp in Berlin. There, a swimming trainer discovered her and she continued her training before learning that the International Olympic Committee was putting together a team for refugees or stateless athletes who would otherwise be prohibited from competing. She received a training scholarship and swam the 100m butterfly in Rio, finishing 41st out of 45 competitors.
In April, Mardini was named a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency.