When Sochi, Russia was chosen to host the Winter Olympics in the summer of 2007, Maggie Voisin was only 8 years old. Now 15, she’s ready to compete in the Games as the youngest American Olympian in more than 40 years.
Growing up in Whitefish, Montana she started skiing at the age of 2. So about the time when Bode Miller and Apolo Anton Ohno were claiming medals at Salt Lake City, Voisin was just strapping on boards for the first time. A lot has happened in the 3 Olympiads since.
Like many modern extreme athletes, the slopestyle skier had her young eyes set on making it to the X Games, she made that happen last month and is now headed to Sochi.
“You know, it makes me really proud,” Voisin told a Montana tv station. “Looking back when I was like 12, I mean I never would have expected this, you know three years later. I can’t believe my first X Games and my first Olympics are all in the same year. So I mean obviously I want to do the best that I can, but I just want to keep having fun. That’s what it’s all about. That’s why I love freeskiing.”
Three years goes by in the blink of an eye for most athletes as they spend time honing their craft, but for Voisin it has been a lifetime of experience to get her to the point where she’s ready to show off on a global stage.
At her X Games debut she snagged a silver medal. Even at barely 15, a repeat performance in Sochi wouldn’t make her the youngest of all time.
Check out the list of the youngest medalists in history:
Gold Medal Dreams And The Youngest Athletes Of All Time 1 of 9
Dmitri Loundras 2 of 9
The Mysterious French Boy 3 of 9
We say Loundras is "officially" the youngest Olympic medallist, because at the Paris games in 1900 it is alleged a boy as young as 7 was part of the Dutch Rowing team that won the gold medal.
Prior to the final, FranÃ§oise Brandt and Roelof Klein determined their coxswain was too heavy, so he was replaced by a young boy. Nobody knows his name or whether or not he was awarded the gold with the Dutch pair but his story remains Olympic legend.
Image via Wikimedia
Klaus Zerta 4 of 9
Inge Sorensen 5 of 9
The youngest ever winner of an individual medal is Inge SÃ¸rensen of Denmark. At the 1936 games in Berlin, she was 12 yrs, 24 days old when she won a bronze medal in the 200m Breaststroke. She was also known for another reason. When Hitler walked out to present the medals, SÃ¸rensen refused to heil the fuhrer.
Image via Collect Nobel
Kusuo Kitamura 6 of 9
Italian Gymnasts 7 of 9
The entire Italian gymnastics team was very young when they competed in the 1928 games in Amsterdam. Luigina Giavotti, Ines Vercesi and Carla Marangoni, were all not even 13 when they won the silver medal in the women's all round team event. Giavotti was the youngest of them all at just 11 yrs 301 days.
This record will stand forever as restrictions now state that gymnasts must turn 16 in the calendar year of the games to qualify for competition.
Image via The Moment Magazine
Nils Skoglund 8 of 9
Marjorie Gestring 9 of 9
Oh, and don’t think that gold medal dream you have buried deep inside is gone forever. While those young kids ascended the podium early, at the games in London, 71 year old Hiroshi Hoketsu from Japan competed in the equestrian events.
You’ve still got time.