Oldest and Youngest Olympians (Winter Games)
Here are some of the 'Oldest and Youngest' competitors at the Winter Olympic Games. Some sports have age requirements, e.g. in bobsled the minimum age is 14, figure skating it is 15 and luge 16 years. See more Winter Olympic Trivia.
Oldest Male Gold Medalist
Currently, the oldest ever male gold medalist at the Winter Olympics is Norwegian Ole Einar Bjørndalen won gold at the 10 km biathlon sprint aged 40 at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Prior to that, in 2006 at the age of 39, Canadian skeleton competitor Duff Gibson (born August 11, 1966) was the oldest athlete in the history of the Olympic Winter Games to win a gold medal. The previous record holder was Norway's Magnar Solberg who was 35 when he won the gold medal in the 20 km individual biathlon event at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo.
In a team event, Robin Welsh Senior from Great Britain won gold in curling at the 1924 Games, aged 54 years and 101 days.
Oldest Male Competitor and Medalist
The oldest ever participant at the Winter Games is Carl August Kronlund, who won silver in the 1924 Olympics in the curling event, aged 58 years, 155 days. Special mention also to Argentinian Matiás Stinnes who was entered in the luge at age 57 years, 229 days in 1968. He had withdrawn from the Games before competition began, though he appears on the entry lists. He did compete in 1964 aged 53. In 2014, Mexican alpine skiier Prince Hubertus von Hohenlohe became the second oldest Winter Olympian ever, at age 55 years.
The oldest male medalists in an individual event is Norwegian figure skater Martin Stixrud, bronze medalist at the 1920 Games, aged 44 years and 77 days. Prior to that, George Hall-Say of Great Britain was bronze medalist in figure skating at the 1908 Games, aged 44 years and 176 days old.
The oldest man to receive a Winter Olympics medal is 83-year-old Anders Haugen. The Norwegian-American actually received his ski jump bronze medal 50 years after he competed in 1924 when a scoring error was discovered in 1974.
Oldest Female Medalist
Cheryl Noble of Canada won a bronze medal in the curling tournament in 2002, aged 49 years 147 days. In an individual event, Hilde Pedersen of Norway won bronze in the 10 km cross-country skiing at the 2006 Games, aged 41 years 189 days.
Oldest Female Gold Medalist
Steffi Walter won gold in the luge in 1988 competing for East Germany aged 36. This was beaten in 2006 German Sylke Otto who won gold in the same event in 2006, aged 36 years and 222 days.
In a team event, Russian Raisa Smetanina won gold in the 4 x 5km cross-country relay, at the 1992 Games, aged 39 years and 354 days.
Youngest Male Competitor
Figure skater Alain Giletti was aged just 12 years, 162 days in 1952.
Youngest Male Medalists
USA bobsledder Tom Doe was just 15 years, 128 days in 1928, where he won a silver medal. This record was beaten by Scotty Allen who won bronze in the figure skating in 1964, aged 14 years and 360 days.
Youngest Male Gold Medalist
At the 1992 Winter Olympics, Finnish ski jumper Toni Nieminen made history by becoming the youngest male Winter Olympic champion, winning gold at 16 years 261 days.
Youngest Female Gold Medalist
- youngest ever gold medalist in a team event - Kim Yun-Mi 1994
- youngest ever gold medalist in an individual event- Tara Lipinski 1998
At the 1928 Games Sonja Henie (born April 8, 1912) of Norway made history when she won the figure skating competition at the age of 15. At the time she became the youngest Olympic champion in history, a distinction she would hold for 66 years.
At the 1994 Winter Olympics, Korean Kim Yun-Mi became the youngest Olympic champion at the Winter Games when she won gold in the women's 3000m relay in short track speed skating. She was 13 years, 85 days years old. She was part of a team in the relay event.
Sonja Henie's record as the youngest winner in an individual event was not broken until Nagano 1998, when 15-year-old American figure skater Tara Lipinski (15 years, 255 days old, born June 10, 1982) won gold to become the youngest female gold medalist in an individual event.
On 9 February 2014, Russian Yulia Lipnitskaya (15 years, 249 days old, born 5 June 1998) won gold in the team event at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, and was six days younger than Tara Lipinski but not younger than Kim Yun-Mi who is still the youngest ever gold medalist.
Youngest Female Medalist
Kim Yun-Mi holds the record for the youngest medalist ever, male or female, at the Winter Olympics. She was 13 years, 85 days years old. She was part of a team in the women's 3000m relay in short track speed skating.
The youngest female medalist in an individual event, East German Andrea Mitscherlich came second in the 3,000m speed skating, at the 1976 Games, aged 15 years and 68 days.
Youngest Female Competitor
Sonja Henie of Norway was 11 years, 295 days old when she competed in the 1924 Winter Olympics. She finished last in a field of eight in women's figure skating. This record as beaten eight years later.
Cecilia Colledge of Great Britain was 11 years, 73 days old when she competed in ladies singles figure skating at the 1932 Winter Games in Lake Placid. She finished 8th. She came back four years later to the 1936 Winter Games and won a silver medal in ladies singles figure skating.
Other young participants include Chinese ice dancer Liu Luyang who was 11 years, 256 days old in 1988, and in 1968 Romanian figure skater Beatrice Huştiu was 11 years, 159 days when she competed, and South African Marcelle Matthews who was 11 years, 306 days old in 1960.