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Gold Medal Dreams For Maggie Voisin In Sochi And The Youngest Medalists Of All Time

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
    Gold Medal Dreams And The Youngest Athletes Of All Time
  • Dmitri Loundras 2 of 9
    1896

    Officially, the youngest medalist is Greek gymnast Dimitrios Loundras. He competed in the 1896 Athens games at the age of 10. His team came 3rd and he was awarded the bronze medal at the age of 10 years 218 days. 

    Image via Wikipedia

  • The Mysterious French Boy 3 of 9
    brandt klein

    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, Françoise 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
    zerta

    Rowing is a great sport to have young, light children running the show. Officially, the youngest male gold medalist is Klaus Zerta from Germany. At the 1960 games in Rome he led his Coxed Paris to gold at the age of 13 years, 283 days. 

    Image via RRK Online

  • Inge Sorensen 5 of 9
    sorensen

    The youngest ever winner of an individual medal is Inge Sørensen 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, Sørensen refused to heil the fuhrer.

    Image via Collect Nobel

  • Kusuo Kitamura 6 of 9
    2747347313_e72ea02792_z

    The youngest individual male gold medalist is Kusuo Kitamura. At the 1932 games in Los Angeles, he won the gold medal in the men's 1500 M freestyle at 14 yrs, 309 days old. 

    Image via Okinawa Soba on Flickr

  • Italian Gymnasts 7 of 9
    1928

    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
    skoglund

    At the 1920 games in Antwerp, Belgium, Swedish high diver, Nils Skoglund won a silver medal. He is the youngest individual sport male medalist picking up his silver at just 14 yrs, 11 days.

    Image via YouTube

  • Marjorie Gestring 9 of 9
    Marjorie_Gestring

    The youngest gold medalist in an individual event was American Marjorie Gestring. She won the the 1936 3-meter Springboard Diving gold medal at 13 years, 268 days.

    Image by Leni Riefenstahl via Wikipedia

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.

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