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Yusra Mardini

Motivational Speaker Yusra Mardini
  • Syrian swimmer heroine, teenage Olympian refugee who dragged a dingy full of refugees to safety across the Aegean Sea.
  • Appointed Goodwill Ambassador to UNHCR in April 2017 as champion of the refugee plight
  • TIME Magazine '30 Most Influential Teens of 2016' & People's 'One of 25 Women Changing the World' & Laureus Award for 'Sporting Inspiration'
  • ...

Yusra Mardini

Motivational Speaker Yusra Mardini
  • Syrian swimmer heroine, teenage Olympian refugee who dragged a dingy full of refugees to safety across the Aegean Sea.
  • Appointed Goodwill Ambassador to UNHCR in April 2017 as champion of the refugee plight
  • TIME Magazine ‘30 Most Influential Teens of 2016‘ & People’s ‘One of 25 Women Changing the World’ & Laureus Award for ‘Sporting Inspiration’

Yusra Mardini is the Syrian swimmer heroine, teenage Olympian refugee who in 2016 dragged a dingy full of refugees to safety across the Aegean Sea.

As a promising swimmer life in war-torn Syria became too dangerous and in 2015 Yusra with her sister Sarah fled their country and traveled to Europe only to face new life threatening situations.

Notably whilst attempting to reach the European mainland on a dingy full of other refugees from the Greek island of Lesbos the boat began sinking. Heroically Yusra and Sarah jumped overboard into the freezing Aegean Sea and pushed the dingy for over three hours to safety almost certainly saving the lives of all on board.

But the remarkable story continued as Yusra and her sister settled in Berlin in September 2015. Yusra continued with her training in the hopes of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games. Fortuitously she met local swimming coach Sven Spannekrebs who took her under his wing.

As a swimmer in Damascus, Syria, Yusra represented her country at the 2012 FINA World Swimming Championships, taking part in the 200-metre medley, 200-metre freestyle, and 400-metre freestyle events respectively.

Now in 2016 the IOC announced its first ever ‘Team Refugee‘ and Yusra not only qualified but won her first heat during the games in Brazil.

Away from swimming, Yusra is fast learning German, the language of her host country, in an effort to continue her education. She is also speaking up for the refugee cause and has agreed to become a High Profile Supporter for UNHCR, giving five speeches at the recent World Economic Forum (in Davos), including one at the U.N. World Food Programme event. In 2017 Yusra was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the UNHCR, the youngest ever.

Profile & Accolades

Yusra has received various awards; here are some of the most notable accolades:

One of 25 women changing the world (PEOPLE

One of 30 most influential Teens of 2016 (TIME

Awarded as silent hero with the international media award „Bambi“ 

Global Goals Awards (UNICEF / New York) / Award in the category ‘Girl Award’ 

Laureus Awards / Award with the ROT in the category ‘Sporting Inspiration“ 

Voices of Courage Award (WRC / New York) 

A movie deal has been agreed with leading production company Working Title and a book telling Yusra’s remarkable story is scheduled for 2018 as Yusra’s stock continues to rise.

Yusra Mardini – Speaker

Yusra has become a powerful voice for displaced people across the globe and has addressed some of the world’s most influential people on these issues. In the meantime, Yusra’s fame has grown rapidly worldwide and she has already met and shared platforms with great people like President Obama, the Pope, Queen Rania of Jordan, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Cate Blanchett, Ben Stiller, Meg Ryan, will.i.am, Michael Johnson, Muhammad Yunus (Nobel Peace Prize), Thomas Gottschalk etc. all at an age of just 19.

“I want to change people’s perceptions.” – Yusra Mardini

She attended the World Economic Forum in Davos as the youngest participant ever and delivered five speeches.

In her additional function as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, she is seen as the representative of 65 Mio refugees/displaced people on this planet.

Despite being just 19 years old Yusra’s focus is as a professional athlete with the aim to compete at the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020. She is also mixing swimming with her important international ambassadorial work whilst studying in Berlin.

Speaking Topics

  • Normal people in extraordinary circumstances
  • Common misconceptions surrounding refugees

Yusra is able to take on a small number of conferences due to her swimming and educational schedule which takes priority. She presents fluently in English and Arabic and is semi-fluent in German which she is studying at present.

Booking Yusra to Speak

Yusra is in high demand worldwide as a keynote speaker. Her recent talks at the WEF, United Nations, and Google Zeitgeist have added to this popularity. Yusra is keen to speak and convey her message at influential conferences and to organizations.

Should you wish to enquire about Yusra speaking at a conference or event please contact ProMotivate™ Speakers Europe by phone or email with details of your request and we will be pleased to assist you.

Biography

Client Testimonials

"Welcome Yusra Mardini, our new UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador! Representing strength + courage of 10m young refugees."

"I’m proud to represent 6.5 million refugees around the world"

Client Testimonials

"Welcome Yusra Mardini, our new UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador! Representing strength + courage of 10m young refugees."

"I’m proud to represent 6.5 million refugees around the world"

Read More
Yusra Mardini, a swimmer on the refugee team in the 2016 Rio Olympics won her heat
Yusra Mardini, a swimmer on the refugee team in the 2016 Rio Olympics won her heat
Olympian Yusra Mardini appointed as youngest-ever Goodwill Ambassador - at the United Nations
Olympian Yusra Mardini appointed as youngest-ever Goodwill Ambassador - at the United Nations
Can Europe survive the new wave of populism? - Yusra Mardini with Zeinab Badawi - May 2017
Can Europe survive the new wave of populism? - Yusra Mardini with Zeinab Badawi - May 2017

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