Youngest Student-Athletes Competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics


The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCA) has 1,121 colleges under its wing, and from those colleges and universities, there are over 460,000 student-athletes competing in different sports events every year, and the biggest one right now happens to be the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games.

Team USA has around 34 colleges and universities sending out their students to compete in the Olympic Games, with Stanford University sending out 30 students (the most number of student-athletes from a college).

Of the more than 500 participants in Team USA, around 400 of them are current and former student-athletes.

It’s not hard to imagine that many athletes start young, but how young? Many NCAA athletes start at 20 or 21 years old. Can you imagine someone starting younger than that at the Olympic Games?

Well, here’s a list of the youngest college participants from the US competing in this year’s games. Some of them are still about to start their chosen universities in the fall, while others are barely out of high school!

Youngest Student-Athletes Competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics

Aria Fischer (17) – Water Polo; her parents competed for and studied at Stanford University, so it’s not a surprise that this young athlete is eyeing her parents’ alma matter.

Maddie Musselman (18) – Water Polo; Musselman is slated to start college this fall at the University of California, Los Angeles

Makenzie Fischer (19) – Water Polo; Aria Fischer’s older sister, and will be studying at Stanford University; she initially deferred her spot at the university for a chance to join the Olympics this year.

Sydney McLaughlin (17) – Track and Field; Union Catholic Regional High School; she is the youngest to qualify for the Olympic track and field team since the 1976 Olympics when Rhonda Brady competed.

Kathleen Baker (19) – Swimming; she currently attends classes at the University of California, Berkeley, pursuing a degree in Public Health

Mallory Pugh (18) – Soccer; she will study at University of California, Los Angeles this fall, and is slated to join the U-20 World Cup, according to the UCLA head coah.

Virginia Thrasher (19) – Archery; she studies at the West Virginia University under the biomedical engineering program

Monica Rokhman (19) – Gymnastics; Glenbrook North High School, Illinois

Kristen Shaldybin (19) – Gymnastics; Highland Park High School, Brooklyn

Laura Zeng (17) – Gymnastics; Libertyville High School, Illinois

Natalie McGiffert (19) – Gymnastics; Glenbrook North High School, Illinois

Madison Kocian (19) – Gymnastics; Spring Creek Academy, Texas

Kiana Eide (18) – Gymnastics; Glenbrook North High School, Illinois

Laurie Hernandez (16 years old)Gymnastics; Abeka Academy High School, New Jersey

Nicole Ahsinger (18) – Gymnastics; Scripps Ranch Senior High School, California

Simone Biles (19) – Gymnastics; Biles was home schooled in her hometown in Texas

Chloé Dygert (19) – Cycling; she earned a scholarship to Marian University

Shakur Stevenson (19) – Boxing; he was named after rapper Tupac Shakur, and is the first male boxer to win in both Junior and Youth World Championships and to get a gold medal from the Youth Olympic

Charles Conwell (19) – Boxing; he studies at Cleveland Heights High School, where he is looking forward to prom after the competition

Rob Clark admin staff managing editor

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