Friday, October 14, 2022

The Swimmers Review

Many athletes have overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve their dreams of competing at the Olympic Games, but few can tell a story to match Yusra Mardini’s. Having fled war-torn Syria in August 2015, Yusra and her sister Sarah embarked on a dangerous smugglers’ route across the Aegean Sea in a flimsy dinghy with eighteen other refugees. When the boat’s motor failed and it began taking on water, the two sisters tethered themselves to the craft and swam towards land, hauling their fellow refugees behind them for three hours. It was an astonishing feat of endurance and survival, and the fact that Yusra then went on to swim at Rio 2016 – a stateless competitor in the newly formed Refugee Olympic Team – is the kind of happy ending that only the most shameless screenwriter would dream up.