Syrian Refugee Yusra Mardini Was Already A Winner Before She Topped Her Rio Olympics Heat

She's a real Olympic heroine.

Yusra Mardini, an 18-year-old from Syria, is already making history as one of the members of the first Olympic Refugee team in Rio de Janeiro.

Last summer, Mardini had to swim for three hours in the Aegean Sea after the boat she and others were using to flee to Europe broke down and filled with water. On Saturday, she won the first heat of the women’s 100m butterfly with a time of 1:09.21.

Mardini placed 41st overall, so she didn’t qualify to compete in the semi-finals.

But many still celebrated her first place finish in her Rio Olympics heat:

Others on the Refugee team cheered Mardini on from the stands:

Mardini will also compete in the women’s 100m freestyle on Aug. 10.

For more Olympics coverage:

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