There are loads of concerns when it comes to legal underage athletes that participate in the Olympic Games. Some of these concerns surround the fact that underage athletes are unable to make informed decisions while participating in the Olympic Games.
However, stated in article 42 of the 2017 revised Olympics Chatter, there is no age limit when it comes to the competitors within the Olympic Games apart from the prescribed rules set forth by the International Sports Federation. This essentially means that sports bodies, such as the International Volley Federation or even FIFA, can set the age limit at the Olympics for their sporting event.
The Youngest Athletes at the Olympics
- Dimitrios Loundras: This athlete was only ten years old when he participated in the 1896 Olympic Games for gymnastics. He managed to finish third and remains the youngest athlete to ever compete in the Olympics to this day.
- Marjorie Gestring: She was 13 years old when she participated as a United States springboard diver where she managed to walk away with a gold medal in the 3-meter springboard division during the 1936 Olympics that took place in Berlin.
- Gaurika Singh: This athlete from Nepal managed to participate in the 100-meter backstroke at the age of 13 years during the 2016 Olympics that took place in Rio.
- Luigina Giavotti: During the 1928 Olympics that occurred in Amsterdam, this athlete formed part of the gymnastics team from Italy who was only 11 years old. He was also joined by Carla Marangoni who was 12 years old along with Ines Vercesi who was also only 12 years of age.
- Inge Sorensen: During the 1936 Olympics this Danish swimmer was only 12 years old when she walked away with a bronze medal in the 200-meter breaststroke.
- Kim Yun-Mi: This athlete was only 13 years old when she won a gold medal in speed skating at the 1994 Olympics that took place in Lillehammer.
The Oldest Athletes at the Olympics
- May Hanna: During the 2016 Olympics, Mary Hanna from Australia participated in equestrian at the age of 63.
- Galen Carter Spencer: This athlete participated at the 1904 Olympic Games as an archer at the age of 64 and managed to walk away with a gold medal.
- Oscar Swahn: This athlete participated in shooting at the 1912 Olympic Games and walked away with a gold medal for his performance.
- Oscar Swahn: During the 1920 Olympic Games, this Swedish athlete was 72 years old and is still the most former athlete to ever participate in the Olympic Games. He also managed to qualify for the 1924 Olympic Games but never attended.
- Arthur von Pongracz: This athlete participated in equestrian at the age of 72 years old during the 1936 Olympic Games.
- Lorna Johnstone: This athlete from Britain participated in the 1972 Olympic Games when she was 72 years old for equestrian.
- Hiroshi Hoketsu: This athlete from Japan participated in dressage at 72 years old at the 2012 Olympic Games.