Age is nothing but a number when it comes to the youngest Olympians who competed at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Olympians between the ages of 12 to 19 made headlines not just for their age, but for some of them, the medals they earned.
Team USA’s Athing Mu, 19, won a gold in a historic performance during the women’s 800-meter race. China’s Hongchan Quan scored two perfect 10’s on her path to a gold medal in the women’s 10-meter platform – all at the tender age of 14.
Some of the youngsters did not qualify for the finals in their respective sports but still will be able to tell classmates about their once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Here’s how the youngest Olympians fared at this year’s Olympics:
Athing Mu, USA
Sport: Track and Field
Athing Mu made history when she won gold in the women’s 800 meters final with a U.S. record time of 1 minute and 55.21 seconds.
“Coming here, I came with a medal mentality,” Mu said. “I came here wanting a medal.”
Colin Duffey, USA
Sport: Sport climbing
Colin Duffey did not win an Olympic medal but did establish his presence during the Olympic debut of sports climbing. Duffey finished 7th in the men’s combined final.
Erriyon Knighton, USA
Sport: Track and Field
Erriyon Knighton did not look pleased when he crossed the finish line in fourth place during the men’s 200 meters final. Despite not earning a medal, Knighton told reporters he would be coming back to the Olympics again and will return to Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Florida in the fall.
Evy Leibfarth, USA
Sport: Canoe slalom
Evy Leibfarth did not make it to the Olympic finals for the women’s slalom canoe after her boat flipped but did make history as the first American woman to ever compete in women’s slalom canoe at the Olympics during its debut at this year’s games.
“Didn’t have the runs I wanted this race and ended up with 12th in K1 and 18th in C1. Still so happy to have this amazing experience, and looking forward to taking what I’ve learned into the next races, and hopefully, the next Olympics!” Leibfarth posted on her Facebook page.
Hongchan Quan, China
Hongchan Quan stunned the Olympics when she won a gold medal in women’s 10-meter platform at 14-years-old. Quan received not one, but two perfect 10s for her second and fourth dives in the five-round competition by all seven judges.
She dedicated the win to her mother who is ill.
Sky Brown, Great Britain
Sport: Park skateboarding
Sky Brown won a bronze medal in the debut of the women’s park skateboarding event at the Tokyo Olympics. She became the third 13-year-old to win a medal for skateboarding at the event behind Japan’s Momiji Nishiya who won gold and Brazil’s Rayssa Leal who won silver.
Rayssa Leal, Brazil
Rayssa Leal skated her way to a silver medal during the women’s park skateboarding event, becoming one of three to do so at the age of 13. She finished behind Japan’s Momiji Nishiya who is also 13.
Claire Curzan, USA
Claire Curzan did not qualify for the women’s 100-meter butterfly but will return to North Carolina as a silver medalist after Team USA earned the medal in the 4×100 women’s medley behind Australia.
Although she did not swim in the final, athletes who competed in the preliminaries still receive a team medal.
Katie Grimes, USA
Katie Grimes came in fourth place during the Women’s 800 meter freestyle with a time of 8 minutes, 19.32 seconds – a second slower than Italy’s Simona Quadarella who won bronze.
Hend Zaza, Syria
Sport: Table tennis
Hend Zaza, the youngest Olympian at the Tokyo games, was eliminated out of the competition during the event’s first round.
“I was hoping for a winning match and for better play, but it’s a tough opponent so it’s a good lesson for me, especially with the first Olympics,” Zaza said through an interpreter, The New York Times reported. “I will work on it to get a better result next time, hopefully.”
By Asha C. Gilbert | USA TODAY