The Tokyo Olympics gave us some unforgettable moments where the human spirit triumphed despite the countless obstacles placed in their path. The athletes put in countless hours of work, irrespective of the challenges the pandemic posed, such as anxiety and morbid fears to help them prepare for the event. Age was no bar as athletes competed against others who are either a lot younger than them or way older than them. Here are the oldest and youngest participants to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics
Oldest participants to win an Olympic medal
1) Andrew Hoy
Australian Andrew Hoy became the oldest Australian Olympian to get on the podium, as he blazed past competition who were years younger than him to win silver in the Equestrian event. The 5-time medalist followed up the 3 golds, which he won in previous editions, with a silver and bronze at the Tokyo Olympics. "It is very, very special. We don't come to these championships, especially Olympic Games, to finish in fourth, fifth or sixth. We only come to get a medal, and look it has been a complete team effort. I've got a fantastic horse. I know I've been to [eight] Olympics, but I've done it with fantastic horses, and Vassily de Lassos is one of the world's greatest horses," said Hoy post his victory, reports The Guardian.
2) Abdullah Al-Rashidi
Kuwait's Abdullah Al-Rashidi became one of the oldest Olympians to win a medal as he won bronze in the men's skeet shooting event at the Tokyo Olympics. Unfortunately for Al-Rashidi, he could not celebrate with his country's anthem due to him competing as an Individual athlete and Kuwait's ban on participating by the IOC. Al-Rashidi did not care about breaking protocol as he draped his country's flag with pride and joy around him after his victory. "I am happy too much to see my Kuwaiti flag and second Olympic medal," he said after his victory, reports First Post.
3) Dorothy Schneider
Dorothy Schneider rewrote history as she became the oldest female medalist at the Tokyo Olympics, the 52-year-old German achieved the feat with her teammates Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Isabell Werth. Schneider's victory was extra special as she came back to win after a traumatic accident in which the horse she was riding died and left her with a broken collar bone. "It was hard to believe, first the equine virus and then the accident...In the beginning, I couldn't talk about it at all, to be honest. But then I worked through it mentally. I talked about it a lot with my husband and with a mental coach, and it's important to worth through this," Schneider told Reuters post her accident.
Youngest participants to win an Olympic medal
1) Rayssa Leal
Brazilian Rayssa Leal etched her name in the history books by becoming the youngest Brazilian to clinch a medal at the Tokyo Olympics. The 13-year-old star won silver at the inaugural skateboarding event in stunning fashion, leaving the global audience mesmerized. The flying fairy was even recognized by skateboarding legend Tony Hawk for her exploits.
2) Momoji Nishiya
The skateboarding event at the Tokyo Olympics saw some of the youngest participants strut their stuff in front of the global audience, and Japan's Momoji Nishiya used the stage to shine the brightest. The 13-year-old stunned the crowd and beat tough competition from the likes of Rayssa Leal to clinch the gold, becoming Japan's youngest gold medalist in the process.
3) Kokona Hiraki
Kokona Hiraki left the audience stunned as she became Japan's youngest medalist by winning the silver medal in the women's park skateboarding at the Tokyo Olympics. The middle-school student started skating as a five-year-old with the influence of her mom's love for the sport. These skateboarding champs showed us why age was no bar to win against the best in the world.