“You Inspired The World”: Katie Ledecky and Lindsey Vonn Join Sports World in Saluting Olympic Swimmer Who Survived Syrian War

Published 06/27/2023, 4:59 AM EDT

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Syrian swimming icon Yusra Mardini, who through her unwavering passion for the sport not just reached the pinnacle but also became an epitome for millions, has announced her retirement and left her fans to ponder over her legacy. From being the face of the Refugee Olympic Team in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 to being a savior, Mardini covered every nook and cranny and is now bidding a humble goodbye to the sporting arena.

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Born in Syria, Mardini and her sister, Sarah Mardini, had to overcome political shackles and inconveniences to represent the people who were forced to leave their homes in 2015 Syrian war. The professional swimmer’s siblings, along with 18 other people who wanted a better future for themselves, left war-struck Syria and extricated themselves from their country on a dinghy from Turkey to Lesbos. However, brutal waves from the Aegean Sea capsized the dinghy, leaving everyone in danger. To stabilize the boat, 17-year-old Yusra Mardini and her sister swam for three hours to reach their destination, Europe, where their swimming journey began. Finally, in 2016, Mardini participated in the Olympics and struck gold.  Now, after six long years, this journey has come to an end as she officially announced her retirement on social media.

Yusra Mardini announces retirement.

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On June 26, Yusra Mardini bid farewell to her beloved sport that helped her break her shackles. In an Instagram post, the athlete shared six pictures representing her professional journey. The athlete also penned down a note, “Swimming has been my home far away from my home for the past eight years, but the time has come to step away and move on to the next chapter.

The athlete then shared her inspiring story with her fans in the caption. Yusra Mardini also thanked her father for teaching her the skill, her coaches, and the physiotherapists who helped her to enhance the skill.

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A post shared by Yusra Mardini (@yusramardini)

Following the announcement of her retirement, many fans flocked to the comment section to express their regards for the Olympian. However, the sorting stars who took the front seat of cheerers are none other than Skiing queen Lindsey Vonn and swimming prodigy Katie Ledecky.

Fans’ reaction to the farewell

Lindsey Vonn expressed her love and respect for the athlete’s journey in the comments section as she wrote, “Congrats on an amazing career! You inspired the world.” While Katie Ledecky poured her love for the athlete and wrote, “You are amazing and continuing to inspire.”

A fan also thanked Yusra for inspiring many and penned, “Thank you for being such an inspiration! Your story, as told in the Netflix movie, The Swimmers, was the most impactful film I’ve watched this year.” Moreover, one fan also called the swimmer an “icon.”

Encomiums like “The power of sports. Congratulations and thank you for inspiring us to take action on the global refugee crisis,”Discovered your story from your film, the most beautiful portrayal and journey Immense admiration for you!”, and “Inspiring people every step of your path. Thanks for being such a special human” brimmed the comment section up to the hilt.

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From leaving the warmth of her homeland to participating in the Olympics, Mardini’s journey is the token of will and bravery. Not only did she represent millions of war victims through her Olympic journey, but also she inspired thousands of girls through her heroic saga. Yusra Mardini is a staunch champion through and through, don’t you agree?

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Written by:

Paras Jan

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Edited by:

Purva Jain

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