Live your day like it is your last, not just because one day it will be, for all of us that will be true and we already know that.

Live it like it your last one because important windows of opportunities are closing no matter your age.

Even if you live to be 90, traveling to a foreign country to find love is not quite the same at 70, as doing it at say, 20, is it?

One man whose films seem to capsulize this so well is Stephen Daldry.

Stephen David Daldry, CBE is an English director and producer of film, theatre, and television.

He has won two Olivier Awards for his work in the West End and two Tony Awards for his work on Broadway.

He has directed several feature films that have been nominated for Best Director and/or Best Picture at the Academy Awards. These films are Billy Elliot (2000), The Hours (2002), The Reader (2008) and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011).

In 2016, he produced and directed Netflix television series The Crown, for which he received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Drama Series.

Mr. Daldry joined an elite group of directors by receiving nominations for direction in theater, television and film.

Few of his characters, however, have had to show quite as much resilience and determination as his latest protagonist, Yusra Mardini., article,photo via Image Source – Storypick

As reported at, “The Billy Elliot director is now attached to a film about the teenage Syrian refugee who fled her home in Damascus in 2015, survived a perilous crossing of the Mediterranean and went on to compete at the Rio Olympics last year.

Mardini – already a promising swimmer – and her sister Sara travelled from Syria to Lebanon and then on to the Turkish port of Izmir, where they climbed into an overcrowded dinghy bound for the Greek island of Lesbos.

They were less than half an hour into their journey when the motor stopped and the boat threatened to capsize. Of the 20 people aboard, only three knew how to swim: the Mardini sisters and another woman. For more than three hours, they did what had to be done, swimming alongside the dinghy, pushing, pulling and cajoling it until they reached land.”


Just when you may think that your life’s journey has been filled with challenges, after you read a story like Yusra’s, yours may be very humbling, insightful and in all fairness, minimal by comparison.

Let’s meet this sensational young swimmer., article, photo via Vogue

Yusra Mardini is a Syrian Muslim Sunni swimmer currently living in Berlin, Germany.

She was a member of the Refugee Olympic Athletes Team (ROT), that competed under the Olympic flag at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

On April 27, 2017, Ms. Mardini was appointed as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.

Growing up in Damascus, Yusra trained in swimming with the support of the Syrian Olympic Committee.

In 2012, she represented Syria in the 2012 FINA World Swimming Championships.

She certainly has experienced her share of challenge and tragedy.

Her house was destroyed in the Syrian Civil War. Yusra and her sister Sarah decided to flee Syria in August of 2015.

They reached Lebanon, and then Turkey, where they arranged to be smuggled into Greece by boat with 18 other migrants, though the over-crowded boat was meant to be used by no more than 6 or 7 people., article, Telegraph photo credit

After the motor stopped working and the dinghy began to take on water in the Aegean Sea, Yusra, her sister, and two other people who were able to swim got into the water and pushed the boat for over 3 hours until it reached Lesbos.

They then traveled through Europe to Germany, where they settled in Berlin in September 2015. Her parents also fled Syria and live in Germany.

Now an incredible window of opportunity opened.

On arrival in Germany, Yusra continued her training with her coach Sven Spannenkrebs from Wasserfreunde Spandau 04 in Berlin, in hopes of qualifying for the Olympics.

She attempted to qualify in the 200 meter freestyle swimming event.

In June 2016, our heroine was one of ten athletes selected for the ROT. She competed in the 100 meters freestyle and the 100 meters butterfly at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

At the Rio Olympics, Ms. Mardini won a 100 meter butterfly heat against four other swimmers.

IOC President Thomas Bach said of the refugee athletes, “We help them to make their dream of sporting excellence come true, even when they have to flee war and violence.”

In regards to her harrowing experience at sea when speaking with Yusra shares, “The worst thing is you can see the island but you can never reach it,’ Mardini explains.’You know if you swim you can reach it, but it’s hard. And the waves. They were so high. Even as a good swimmer I wouldn’t dare go out into those waves. I was petrified.”

Yet she never gave up and we are so glad that she didn’t., article, photo via CNN International

Looking back on the experience, it doesn’t fill her with fear but understandably it is something that she wished that she never experienced. Having said that she adds, “I feel proud,’ she explains.’No one on the boat gave up. It’s something I never want to go through again, and, if I’m truly honest, I wish I hadn’t gone through it, but I’m also thankful– I now know I’m strong enough to do a lot of things in this world. And it’s brought me all the chances I have in my life.”

More opportunities abound.

Yusra’s incredible story has taken another turn, as the Syrian refugee and Olympic swimmer recently signed an endorsement deal with Under Armour.

The deal made worldwide news. As reported at, “She didn’t take home any medals, but her story was perhaps the most inspiring of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Now, 19-year-old Yusra Mardini can add Under Armour brand ambassador to her impressive list of accomplishments. The sportswear maker has announced that the freestyle and butterfly swimmer is the latest addition to its team of international athlete endorsers, representing UA Women alongside Misty Copeland and Lindsey Vonn.”

Good for her.

Often in life windows of opportunity are opened to help us progress to become the epitome of who we hope to evolve into.

Sometimes those windows are for something more basic and extremely important.

To simply stay alive…….

And in the process, like Yusra’s incredible story, greatly inspire others., article, Photograph Alexander Hassenstein Getty Images for the International Olympic Committee

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OPENING PHOTO, article, UNHCR photo credit