Greatest Teenage Olympic Athletes

The Top Ten
1 Nadia Comaneci Nadia Comaneci, at just 14 years of age during the 1976 Montreal Olympics, became the first gymnast in Olympic history to be awarded a perfect score of 10.0. Her groundbreaking performance included winning three gold medals, one of which was for the individual all-around competition. This Romanian gymnast's achievements at such a young age left a lasting impact on the world of gymnastics.
2 Gabby Douglas Gabby Douglas broke barriers at the 2012 London Olympics as the first African American to win the individual all-around gymnastics title. Only 16 at the time, her exceptional performance also contributed to the U.S. team's gold medal, earning her widespread acclaim. Douglas's achievements highlighted her as a role model for young gymnasts globally.
3 Ragnhild Hveger Ragnhild Hveger, a Danish swimmer, made her Olympic debut at the age of 17 during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. She secured a silver medal in the 400-meter freestyle, showcasing her talent on an international stage. Throughout her teenage years, Hveger set numerous world records, establishing herself as one of the era's dominant swimmers.
4 Simone Biles Simone Biles, at 19, took the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics by storm, winning four gold medals, including the individual all-around, team, floor exercise, and vault, alongside a bronze on the balance beam. Her extraordinary performances earned her recognition as one of the greatest gymnasts of all time. Biles's achievements in Rio reflected her hard work, talent, and dedication to gymnastics.
5 Michael Phelps Michael Phelps, only 15 years old at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, was the youngest male to make the U.S. Olympic swim team in 68 years. Although he didn't medal in Sydney, his participation marked the beginning of a legendary Olympic career. Phelps's early experience set the stage for his future dominance in swimming.
6 Ian Thorpe Ian Thorpe, an Australian swimmer, became a sensation at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, winning three gold and two silver medals at just 17 years old. His victories included setting new world records in the 400m freestyle and as part of the 4x100m freestyle relay team. Thorpe's remarkable performances made him a national hero and an international swimming star.
7 Katie Ledecky Katie Ledecky burst onto the Olympic scene at the age of 15 during the 2012 London Games, winning gold in the 800m freestyle with a time that broke the American record. Her debut was marked by her incredible distance swimming ability, setting the stage for her future as a dominant force in the sport. Ledecky's early success was a precursor to her becoming one of the most decorated female swimmers in history.
8 Jennifer Capriati Jennifer Capriati captured the hearts of many when she won the Olympic gold medal in tennis at just 16 years old during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Her victory came after a phenomenal run that showcased her talent and determination. Capriati's accomplishment at such a young age marked a significant milestone in her career, paving the way for future successes.
9 Adriana Diaz
10 Sonja Henie Sonja Henie, at the age of 15, won her first Olympic gold in figure skating at the 1928 St. Moritz Winter Games, beginning a legendary career that would include three consecutive Olympic gold medals. Her performances revolutionized the sport, making her one of figure skating's most celebrated athletes. Henie's influence extended beyond the rink, as she later pursued a successful career in film.
The Contenders
11 Tara Lipinski Tara Lipinski became the youngest individual gold medalist in Winter Olympic history when she won the figure skating title at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, at just 15 years old. Her technical skill and artistry set new standards in the sport. Lipinski's victory was a defining moment in her career, showcasing her as a prodigious talent in figure skating.
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