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British film company buys rights to refugee Olympic swimmer’s story

Yusra Mardini

In this photo taken Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, Ysra Mardini from Syria poses for a photo during a training session in Berlin, Germany. Two months ago Ysra Mardini and her sister Sarah, who were once among Syria’s brightest swimming stars, were swimming for their lives, after jumping off an inflatable boat that began taking on water carrying refugees to Greece. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)


BERLIN (AP) -- A British film company has agreed to buy the rights to the story of a teenage refugee who fled Syria and swam at the Olympics a year later.

Yusra Mardini and her sister Sara were forced to swim for hours alongside their overloaded boat to reach Greece from Turkey in 2015.

The International Olympic Committee picked Yusra for its first ever refugee team at the Summer Games in Rio.

Eventually they reached the German capital Berlin and joined a local swimming club, quickly gaining international attention.

Working Title Films said Friday that award-winning filmmaker Stephen Daldry, who made “Billy Elliot” and “Trash,” has been tipped to direct the film.

It wasn’t immediately clear how much Working Title paid for the rights.

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