Yusra Mardini was one of the ten members of the Refugee Olympic Team that took part for the first time in Olympic history at Rio. The teenager found support from unexpected quarters in Hrithik Roshan before her event and thanked the superstar although she ended far away from a medal.
Yusra Mardini's story was one of the most heart-rending and extraordinary ones of the athletes at the Rio Olympics. The 18-year-old had to flee Syria last year after her home was destroyed in the civil war that has run rampant in the country. Yusra and her sister were stranded with 18 other immigrants when their boat lost its motor miles away from the coast of Greece. Yusra and three others, including her sister, had to jump into the freezing-cold waters of the Aegean Sea and push the boat for hours while swimming. While even the men gave up, Yusra and her sister continued on, and the dinghy reached the Greek port of Lesbos after three hours.
The swim saved her life and 19 others, but Yusra has hated the open sea since then. The family moved from Greece to Berlin where she has trained over the past year for the Olympics.
Ahead of Yusra's participation, Hrithik Roshan had tweeted his support for the teenager. Although Yusra participated in the 100m butterfly event and the 100m freestyle events, she could finish only 40th and 45th in them.
Tonight I cheer for Yusra Mardini, a real life hero who saved lives through her swimming and is part of refugee Olympic athletes team.— Hrithik Roshan (@iHrithik) August 10, 2016
However, Yusra responded to Hrithik's message of support personally thanking him over Twitter.
@iHrithik thank you so much for the supporting team refugees it means a lot for us that one of the most successful actors is supporting us😊— Yusra Mardini (@YusraMardini) August 19, 2016