Meet the youngest athlete at the Rio Olympics
There will be more than 10,000 athletes at the Rio Olympics, and none younger than Gaurika Singh.
Singh, a 13-year-old swimmer from Nepal (who moved to London with her family at age 2), will be the youngest athlete to compete, according to the official news service of the Games.
If Singh ends up being the youngest athlete in Rio, she will be the oldest youngest athlete at a Summer Olympics since the 1956 Melbourne Games, according to sports-reference.com.
“I wanted to go but wasn’t sure I’d be able to because I’d be too young,” she said, according to the Olympic News Service “When I found out a month ago, it was a big shock.”
There is no age minimum for time-qualified swimmers at the Olympics. In 2015, a 10-year-old from Bahrain swam at the World Championships.
Singh, who lives in London and will represent Nepal at the Olympic Games, was in Kathmandu for the national championships in April last year when a massive earthquake hit the region, killing an estimated 9,000 people as hundreds of buildings crashed to the ground.
“It was terrifying,” said Singh, who was in Nepal with her mother and little brother Sauren. “We were on the fifth floor of a building that we couldn’t escape from, so we sheltered under a table for 10 minutes in the middle of the room and had to go down the stairs afterwards amid the aftershocks.”
She said she was luckier than many. “Fortunately, it was a new building so it did not collapse like others around.”
MORE: Olympic swimming schedule