Gaurika Singh, the youngest athlete at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games!
At just 13 years and 255 days old, Singh is the youngest competitor in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics and will be one of five delegates from Nepal, where she was born and lived until the age of two. She has already begun to make a name for herself in international competitive swimming, winning one silver and three bronze medals at the 2016 South Asian Games.
The 100 metre backstroker, who now lives in London after leaving Nepal as a two-year-old, is also a survivor of the earthquake that shook Nepal to its core and killed almost 9000 people in April last year.
There she was, preparing to compete in the Nepalese national swimming championship with her family in Kathmandu, when she was forced to take shelter under a table in a five-storey office building fearing for her life.
Needless to say there was no pool left to compete in after 3.5 million people were left homeless as a result of the earthquake. There are few details Singh remembers of the natural disaster which also injured more than 20,000 locals.
“She’s special,” her father, Paras Singh, told reporters. “It’s unbelievable that she’s the youngest Olympian in Rio and amazing how she copes with all the pressure.”
And after Rio? The baby-faced, braces-sporting, teenager will return to London to start ninth grade next month as an Olympian—not a title most other high schoolers can claim.
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