Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Young and in Beijing

To be an Olympian, you need to be able to nail the landing on your uneven bars routine or shoot 300 consecutive arrows at a bulleye. You don't have to be a grownup.

Of the 596 members of the U.S. team in Beijing, 41 are teenagers. The youngest are synchronized diving partners, Haley Ishimatsu and Mary Beth Dunnichay, both 15, and swimmer Elizabeth Beisel who turns 16 next Monday. Five of the seven women's gymnasts are teens as are seven members of the women's swim team. The youngest male U.S. athletes - best I can tell - are 18, including a cyclist, a boxer and a wrestler.

There's a nice summary of the teen demography at USA Today's Olympics blog.

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