Syrian athlete aspires to symbolize hope, strength at Olympics

World Today

28-year-old Syrian-American swimmer Azad Al-Barazi has been training extensively to represent Syria for the 2016 Olympic games, at a time when the country is consumed by civil war and the threat of ISIL.

CCTV America’s Patrice Howard reports.

“I’m just here to swim for the people of Syria and to swim for Syria,” Al-Barazi said.

After competing the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games, Al-Barazi took a break from the sport to pursue a career in medicine. But as the situation in country grew worse, he realized the best way to inspire his people was to get back into the water.

While the situation is bittersweet for Al-Barazi, he added that he can swim lap after lap to show Syria’s people they are worth fighting for.