Creativity

Refugee Athlete Yusra Mardini Joins Under Armour's Bench

Syrian Swimmer Has Overcome Challenges Far Greater Than the Olympics

By Ann-Christine Diaz. Published on Oct 20, 2017

Editor's Pick

Syrian refugee athlete Yusra Mardini now has a brand home. Today Under Armour has added the 19-year-old Olympic swimmer to its team of international athletes, celebrating her arrival in a powerful new film.

The video depicts various scenes of Mardini in training--throwing punches, breathing heavily after a hard workout, fighting against the current in a wave pool--intercut with more quiet, introspective moments of her remembering the hurdles she faced as a refugee, fleeing Damascus to find a new home. Her father had saved money to bring the family to Turkey, but once there, they had tremendous challenges. Mardini and her sister, for example, had to help haul a broken motor boat of refugees from Turkey across the sea to the Greek isle of Lesbos, after men on board had already given up. In short, the obstacles she faces now are nothing compared to what she's overcome as a refugee.

"I shouldn't be alive today," her voiceover recites. "I should have been killed by the bomb that hit the pool in Damascus. I should have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. I should have been one of the many faces of refugees who died along the way, but I am here, alive because I kept moving. So many things tried to stop me, break me, so many times something whispered, this, now this will defeat you. But I kept moving … And now when my exhaustion rises, I remember. And my strength just rises higher. It says greater thing than this have tried to stop me, and I keep moving." The film ends with the line, "Turn your pain into strength," followed by the brand's tag, "I Will."

"We are inspired by her drive and accomplishments, both as a person and as an athlete," says Chris Bate, Under Armour managing director, Europe in a statement. "The way in which she is dealing with life's challenges, both past and present, shows a tremendous amount of character."

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About

Credits

Date
Oct 20, 2017
Agency:
Nordpol
Client:
Under Armour
Marketing:
Stefanie Kroll
Marketing:
Philipp Walter
Marketing:
Conrad Lagemann
Marketing:
Karina Engeldal
Marketing:
Tim Duffels
Marketing:
Barry Schmits
Creative Direction:
Tim Schierwater
Creative Direction:
Sebastian Behrendt
Copywriter:
Simon Rösel
Copywriter:
David Krumwiede
Copywriter:
Janet Champ
Copywriter:
Aaron Kaplowitz
Art Direction:
Bekim Terzija
Agency Post Production:
Maximilian Fritz
Agency Post Production:
Noel Lent
Agency Post Production:
Jana Strüwe
Account & Strategy:
Leonard Schlenk
Account & Strategy:
Niklas Franke
Account & Strategy:
Aylin Özsüyek
Account & Strategy:
Natalie Rukuschewitz
Film Production:
Smuggler
Service Production:
Tempomedia
Executive Producer US:
Patrick Milling Smith
Executive Producer US:
Allison Kunzman
Executive Producer UK:
Fergus Brown
Executive Producer UK:
Trine Pillay
Production Manager:
Adam Evans
Producer:
Gunnar Meyer
Director:
Björn Rühmann
Director of Photography:
Kolja Brandt
Editor:
Alexander Jurkat
Sound Design:
Wenke Kleine-Benne
Sound Design:
NHB Studios
Music:
Gordian Gleiss
Music:
Thai Hirschson
Music:
NHB Studios
Color Grading:
Toby Tomkins
Color:
Cheat
Post Production:
Cheat

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