The youngest gold medalists in Olympics history

  • Alex Batt
Gestring And Rawls

Was it really four years ago when London was playing host to the Olympics?

Well, we can confirm it was because now it's time to turn our attentions to the 2016 Olympics which is set to take centre stage in Brazil.

The Olympics is a special event for numerous reasons. Not only does it happen just once every four years, it also gives us a chance to watch sporting events that you wouldn't get to watch every weekend.


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How often can you say you watch taekwondo or fencing? Well, that's what is so special about the Olympics. For a couple of weeks, you get to sit back and enjoy other sports rather than just football, boxing, cricket, golf etc.

What better way to start the Olympics by looking back at previous events, and specifically, looking back at historic moments and record-breaking achievements.

Thanks to the Athletic Edge Physiotherapy, we can take a look back at the youngest gold medal winners in Olympic history.

Here are some of the youngest ever gold medalists from Olympic history.

17-year-old winners

Since the introduction of the Olympics, seven people have won gold medals whilst being aged just 17.

In 1904, Warren Kenneth Wood took a gold medal home for the United States of America when he won the golf tournament. Then 48 years later, his American counterpart Bob Mathias obtained a gold medal in the decathlon.

In between the two 17-year-old Americans winning gold medals at the age of just 17, German fencer Helene Mayer joined the list thanks to her performance in Amsterdam.

Foils Final

The next 17-year-old gold medalist came in 1984 when South Korean Seo Hyang-Soon won the archery.

More recently, Chen Zong took home a gold medal during the 2000 Olympics in taekwondo whilst representing China, and at London 2012, Claressa Shields won the women's Boxing to take home the gold for America.

16-year-old winners

If you think winning gold at 17 is impressive, how about at 16?

Well, that's exactly what Jenniffer Capriati, Sandy Neilson, Betty Robinson, and Sun Shuwei did.

Sun Shuwei of China dives 27 July during the men's

Three of the aforementioned represented America in Tennis, Swimming, and 100m respectively, whilst Sun of China won gold in diving.

Both Sun Shuwei and Jenniffer Capriati won their gold medals in 1992 during the Barcelona Olympics.

15-year-old winner

Not to be outdone, enter Yasuji Miyazaki, who won a gold medal at the age of just 15.

During the 1932 Olympics, hosted by America, the Japanese swimmer obtained gold and became one of the youngest ever.

Yasuji Miyazaki

Amazingly, that wasn't Miyazaki's only gold medal that year, as a day later he won his second in the 4 x 200 freestyle relay, in which his team set a new world record of 8 minutes 58.4 seconds.

14-year-old winner

Nope. A 15-year-old isn't the youngest gold medalist at an Olympics as Nadia Comaneci went one better by winning one when she was just 14.

Representing Romania during the 1976 Olympics, Comaneci won gold in the gymnastics, and in doing so, became the first ever gymnast to be awarded a perfect 10 at an Olympics.


She won two more golds four years later during the 1980 Olympics.

13-year-old winner

Yes, you read that right.

A 13-year-old can boast about the fact they won a gold medal during an Olympics.

Back in 1936, Marjorie Gestring of America achieved gold in the diving event, becoming the youngest ever person to win a gold medal at the Olympics.

Due to her incredible achievements, she has been inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame.

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