She has fled war torn Damascus, now 17-year-old swimmer Yusra Mardini is hoping to compete in the Rio Olympics.
The teenager left Syria and made the treacherous crossing in a dingy from Turkey to Greece, before finally reaching Berlin 35 days later.
During the crossing her boat began taking on water so, along with her sister and other swimmers, she jumped in the water for three hours and helped guide the boat to safety.
Now in Germany and she has a new goal: to compete in Rio – not for her country but for the first ever team of refugee athletes.
She said: “I think first of all I want to do it for all the people, I want to inspire everyone.
“When you have a problem in your life it doesn’t mean you have to sit around and cry like babies or something.
“The problem was the reason I am here and why I am stronger and I want to reach my goals. So I want to inspire everyone that everyone can do what they believe in their hearts.”
Developing her talent as a swimmer was a challenge in Syria.
She said: “The war was hard; sometimes we couldn’t train because of the war. Or sometimes you had training but there was a bomb in the swimming pool.”
Yusra is one of 43 refugees hoping to qualify for the team which will enter the opening ceremony carrying the white IOC flag with the coloured Olympic rings.
The refugee athletes will be treated at the Games like members of the other 206 International teams staying in the Rio 2016 Olympic Village.
Created by the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee, the team has been given $2m (£1.38m) to pay for coaching, uniforms and technical assistance.
Other refugee athletes include long-distance runners from South Sudan and judo and taekwondo competitors from Congo, Iran and Iraq who range in age from 17 to 30.
IOC President Thomas Bach said he expects between five and 10 athletes will make the team.
“We want to send a message of hope to all the refugees of the world,” Mr Bach said.
It’s a message echoed by the young swimmer:
“I want to show everybody that it’s hard to arrive at your dreams but it’s not impossible,” she said.
“You can do it; everyone can do it.
“If I can do it, any athlete can do it.”