The Swimmer Who Fled Syria

In early March, the International Olympic Committee announced that there would be a team of refugees at the Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer—five to ten athletes whose refugee status has been verified by the United Nations and who will compete under the Olympic flag. When Sven Spannekrebs, a swimming coach based in Berlin, learned of the announcement, he knew right away that one of his swimmers—Yusra Mardini, an eighteen-year-old Syrian who has a real shot at making the team—was...

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