Butterfly - Yusra Mardini (Hardcover)

From Refugee to Olympian, My Story of Rescue, Hope and Triumph

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The inspiring story of how one woman saved fellow refugees from drowning―and how she went on to become an Olympic swimmer.

When young Syrian refugee Yusra Mardini realized her boat's engine shut down as she was traveling from Syria to Greece with other refugees, there was no hesitation: she dove into the water. Surfacing, she heard desperate prayers and sobbing from the passengers in the sinking boat above her. Between the waves, her elder sister Sarah screamed at her to get back on the boat. But Mardini was determined. She was not going to let Sarah do this alone. Grabbing the rope with one hand, she began kicking up the black water, inching the boat towards the distant shore.

This bold act of bravery saved the lives of a boatload of refugees heading to Turkey from Syria. After her arrival in Greece, Mardini, focused and undeterred, worked toward a lifelong goal: to compete in the Olympics. She succeeded, and competed in 2016 on the Refugee Olympic Team in Rio de Janeiro.

Butterfly tells her story, from Syria to the Olympics to her current work with the UN as a Goodwill Ambassador. Mardini is eager to tell her story in the hopes that readers will remember that refugees are ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, chased from their homes by a devastating war. In today's political climate, this story is guaranteed to inspire and educate readers from every background.

Product Details

3 May 2018
Supply Source


Yusra Mardini
From Refugee to Olympian, My Story of Rescue, Hope and Triumph
Pan Macmillan
Number of Pages
234 x 153 x 153mm (530g)


The awe-inspiring true story of Yusra Mardini, Syrian refugee and Olympic swimmer


"Being a refugee is not a choice. Our choice is to die at home or risk death trying to escape." - Yusra Mardini

Yusra Mardini fled her native Syria to the Turkish coast in 2015 and boarded a small dinghy full of refugees bound for Greece. When the small and overcrowded boat's engine cut out, it began to sink. Yusra, her sister and two others took to the water, pushing the boat for three and a half hours in open water until they eventually landed on Lesbos, saving the lives of the passengers aboard.

Butterfly is the story of that remarkable woman, whose journey started in a war-torn suburb of Damascus and took her through Europe to Berlin and from there to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Yusra Mardini is an athlete, one of People magazine's twenty-five women changing the world, a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and one of Time Magazine's thirty most influential teens of 2016.


General Subject
BISAC Subject 1
Biography & Autobiography / Women
BISAC Subject 2
Sports & Recreation / Swimming & Diving
BISAC Subject 3
Biography & Autobiography / Sports
BIC Classification 1
True stories of heroism, endurance & survival
BIC Classification 2
Refugees & political asylum
BIC Classification 3
Autobiography: sport
Dewey Classification
General (US: Trade)

Author Bio

Yusra Mardini is an Olympic swimmer and Syrian refugee who, in 2015, fled her hometown of Damascus when it became too dangerous to live in the war-torn country. In 2016 Mardini swam with the Refugee Olympic Team and was subsequently named the youngest ever UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. The Malala Fund named Yusra in their list of Game Changers and she is also one of the hundred women featured in Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls. She lives in Berlin where she continues to train and compete internationally.