A 17-year-old just got a gold medal for snowboarding. Her name is Chloe Kim, and the American snowboarder landed a near-perfect score of 98.25 at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Getting to the Olympics—let alone scoring gold—is no easy feat, especially at such a young age. Kim now has many wondering: how old do you have to be to compete in the Olympics?
Kim actually qualified for the U.S. team in Sochi four years ago, but she was still two years shy of the snowboarding’s minimum age limit of 15-years-old.ports, and there are in fact many teenagers competing in the Olympics this year, and many others who have done so in the past. Here’s the lowdown.
How old do you have to be to compete in the Olympics?
According to International Olympic Committee rules, there is no limit for partaking in the games. The age limit depends on the rules set forth by each International Sports Federation. In Kim’s case, for snowboarding, it’s 15, but it varies according to sport.
the youngest athletes in the 2018 Olympics
The youngest athlete currently registered at the PyeongChang Olympics is Wu Meng, a 15 year-old Chinese halfpipe skier. But she’s not the only 15 year-old. In fact there are five other 15-year-old Olympians this year,, and four 16-year-olds. The youngest member of Team USA this year is 17-year-old men’s figure skater Vincent Zhou.
the youngest athletes in Olympic history
Greek gymnast Dimitrios Loundras is the youngest known medalist. When Loundras finished third in the team parallels bars at the 1896 Olympic Games, he was 10 years and 218 days old.
Over thirty years later, Luigina Giavotti of Italy won the silver medal in the team gymnastics event in 1928. She was 11 years and 302 days old.
The youngest known male medalist in an indiveidual event is Swedish Nils Skoglund who in 1920, won a silver high diving medal at the age of 14 years and 11 days. For females, it’s Inge Sorensen of Denmark, who in 1936 won a bronze medal for the 200m breaststroke at the age of 12 years and 24 days.
The youngest known male gold medalist is Japanese Kuoso Kitamura, who won the 1500m freestyle at the 1932 Games, aged 14 years and 309 days. For women, it’s American Marjorie Gestring, who scored a gold for the 3m springboard at the 1936 Games, aged just 13 years and 268 days.