Age is just a number if you have talent.
Ever wonder if that high school diving prodigy from your hometown is eligible for the Olympics?
Turns out he is, as long as he is 14 years old or older. That’s right, you can go to the Olympics before getting your driver’s license or going to your first prom, depending on the sport.
Nick Zaccardi, NBC Sports Olympics Writer, gives us the inside scoop on the age requirements.
What’s the Youngest Age to Compete in the Olympics?
There isn’t a standard minimum age requirement that applies to the entire group of Olympic athletes — every sport’s governing body determines how old the athletes must be.
Gymnastics and track and field have a minimum age requirement of 16 to compete in the Olympics. But divers can be 14.
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Swimming, on the other hand, allows qualifying athletes of any age to compete. In fact, a 10-year-old girl competed at the world championships in 2015 (although she didn’t quality).
The youngest athlete that the U.S. is sending to Rio for the 2016 Olympics is 16-year-old Kanak Jha, a professional table tennis player.
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He’s taken the gold for being the first American born in the 2000s to make an Olympic team.
Surprisingly, this is the first time since 1948 that the U.S. hasn’t sent an athlete under the age of 16 to the Olympics.