Some of the youngest ever Olympians are competing at the 2020 Tokyo Games, including a 12-year-old table tennis prodigy and skateboarders, who are age 12 and 13. If not for the postponement caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Zend Zasa of Syria would have competed in th Olympics last year at the age of 11. Yet, she still is the youngest competitor in this year’s games. One of the oldest Olympians this year, a 58-year-old from Luxembourg, also competes in table tennis. The oldest woman and man competing are Australian Equestrians aged 66 and 62.
Class discussion: Do you think very young athletes can compete against more experienced competitors? How do you think the oldest Olympians will perform? Which sports usually attract younger competitors? Which sports can older athletes still compete in successfully? How much does age affect athletic performance? Who are some of the youngest and oldest stars in professional sports? The youngest ever Olympic competitor is believed to be an unidentified 7- or 8-year-old coxswain for a 1900 Dutch rowing team. What does a rowing “cox” do?
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