The youngest competitor at the Rio 2016 Olympics is just 13 years old, but with young athletes, age is not to be discounted. Other young Olympians have walked away with medals in the past. Gaurika Singh will represent her home country - Nepal in the preliminary round of the 100m backstroke on Sunday. Gaurika lives in London, UK and trains at the Copthall Swimming Club. Her coaches, Christine Green and Rhys Gormley, have turned out world-class swimmers. Young Singh still goes to school when she is not up at the crack of dawn training to achieve her dream of becoming an Olympic champion.

Family support for young swimmer.

Xinhua news agency reported that she is going to have her father at the games who will support her. She told them that while her Dad will be with her at the Olympics, and everyone is very "proud of her" that does not make her exceptional. "They (family and friends) are really good at their own things," she said. Her Dad is a doctor, and he is so very proud of his daughter.

Newsx reported that he is blown away at how well she copes with pressure. 

Excellent track record for one so young.

Older swimmers who have competed in the Olympics before should not discount her potential to gain a medal. The young champion won three bronze and a silver medal at the South Asian Games this year. She set the national record for the 100m backstroke at the 2015 FINA World Championships.

The Nepal Sports Journalists Forum nominated her as the Outstanding Female Player of the Year and for the Best Youth Player titles at the NSJF Pulsar Sports Awards in July. 

Previous young medalists.

There have been younger female team eventers at the Olympics in years past - notably Luigina Giavotti, an Italian gymnast who was shy of her twelfth birthday at the time, but this was a team event, and she did not compete as an individual. Top End Sports, Olympic snippets point out that back in 1936, the youngest girl swimmer who took home a bronze medal in the 200m Breaststroke was Inge Sørensen, representing Denmark.

She was nearly a year younger than Singh at the time.

Singh's challenge.

The record Singh should be looking at beating is that of USA Springboard diver, Marjorie Gestring who took the home the gold medal in the 3-meter high-dive event in 1936. Gestring was 13 years old when she set the record as the youngest female competitor to ever win an individual event in a swimming pool. 

 

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