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Meet the youngest and oldest athletes making history at the Tokyo Olympics

Meet the youngest and oldest athletes making history at the Tokyo Olympics

The youngest athlete is not old enough to attend high school, while the oldest is a grandmother.

Meet the youngest and oldest athletes making history at the Tokyo Olympics

The world’s best athletes have descended on Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic Games. Competing across 24 different sports, these incredible athletes are not only remarkable because of their achievements, but their ages.

There are a number of Olympians young and old competing at Tokyo 2020. Meet the inspiring athletes proving age really is just a number.

The youngest: Hend Zaza (12)

Jul 24, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Hend Zaza (SYR) hits the ball against Jia Liu (AUT) in the women’s singles preliminary round during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Metropolitan Gym. Andrew Nelles-USA TODAY Network

12-year-old Syrian table tennis player Hend Zaza is the youngest player in Tokyo and the fifth youngest Olympian in the history of the games. Zaza started playing the sport at just five years old and played against 39-year-old Austrian Liu Jia in her first Olympic match, ultimately losing in straight sets.

The oldest: Mary Hanna (66)

Mary Hanna (AUS) riding Calanta during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Equestrian Park (Baji Koen) in Tokyo, Japan. Yohei Osada/AFLO SPORT

Australian equestrian Mary Hanna is not only an accomplished horse rider but a grandmother as well. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are Hanna’s sixth games, having competed at the 1996, 2000, 2004, 2012 and 2016 games. Hanna is the second-oldest female Olympian, after 72-year-old Oscar Swahn who competed in shooting at the 1920 Olympics.

When asked how she has managed to maintain such a successful career in the sport, Hanna said: “I’ve been doing this for so long now. Riding’s one of those amazing sports where you can do it no matter what your age is, or your gender. It’s a fantastic sport like that.”

Ones to watch

Sky Brown (13)


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Tokyo 2020 first year skateboarding is a part of the Olympic Games and 13-year-old Sky Brown from Great Britain is definitely one to watch. The multi-talented teen who also surfs, and snowboards will be competing in the skateboarding competition as the youngest British Olympian in history. She’s ranked the world number 3 female park skateboarder and his Nike’s youngest sponsored athlete.

Oksana Chusovitina (46)


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While gymnastics is known for its young competitors, 46-year-old Oksana Chusovitina from Uzbekistan is defying the odds. The gymnast won gold at the 1992 Barcelona Games and has competed in seven Olympics in total – this year becoming the oldest Olympic gymnastic in history.

Abdi Abdirahman (44)


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At 44-years-old, US track and field runner Abdi Abdirahman is the oldest US runner to compete at the Olympics. Abdirahman finished 10th at the 10,000 metres at the 2000 Olympics and is a five-time Olympian.

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