Oldest and Youngest Olympians (Winter Games)

Here are some of the 'Oldest and Youngest' competitors at the Winter Olympic Games (see also the oldest and youngest at the Summer Olympics). Some sports have minimum age requirements, e.g. in bobsled the minimum age is 14, figure skating it is 15 and luge 16 years and for the biathlon, the minimum age is 22. See more Winter Olympic Trivia.

Table of Oldest Winter Olympians

category age name nationality sport year
Oldest male gold medalist (team) 54 yrs 101 days Robin Welsh Senior Great Britain curling 1924
Oldest male gold medalist (individual) 40 Ole Einar Bjørndalen Norway biathlon 2014
Oldest male medalist (team) 58 yrs 155 days Carl August Kronlund Sweden curling 1924
Oldest male medalist (individual) 44 yrs 77 days Martin Stixrud Norway figure skating 1920
Oldest male competitor 58 yrs 155 days Carl August Kronlund Sweden curling 1924
Oldest female gold medalist (team) 43 yrs 104 days

Anette Norberg

Sweden curling 2010
Oldest female gold medalist (individual) 36 years, 222 days Sylke Otto German luge 2006
Oldest female medalist (team) 49 yrs 147 days Cheryl Noble Canada curling 2002
Oldest female medalist (individual) 41 yrs 189 days Hilde Pedersen Norway xc skiing 2006
Oldest female competitor 51 Cheryl Bernard Canada curling 2018

Table of Youngest Winter Olympians

category age name nationality sport year
Youngest male gold medalist 16 yrs 261 days Toni Nieminen Finland ski jumping 1992
Youngest male medalist 14 yrs 360 days Scotty Allen USA figure skating 1964
Youngest male competitor 12 yrs 162 days Alain Giletti France Figure skating 1952
Youngest female gold medalist (team) 13 yrs 85 days Kim Yun-Mi Korea short track speed skating 1994
Youngest female gold medalist (individual) 15 yrs 255 days Tara Lipinski USA figure skating 1998
Youngest female medalist (team) 13 yrs 85 days Kim Yun-Mi Korea short track speed skating 1994
Youngest female medalist (individual) 15 yrs 68 days Andrea Mitscherlich East Germany speed skating 1976
Youngest female competitor 11 yrs 73 days Cecilia Colledge Great Britain figure skating 1932

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 Sweden's 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 withdrew from the Games before competition began, though his name appears on the entry lists. He did compete in 1964 aged 53. In 2014, Mexican alpine skier Prince Hubertus von Hohenlohe became the second oldest Winter Olympian ever, at age 55 years. He was also aiming to become the oldest Winter Olympian of all time in 2018, but he did not make the team.

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

In an individaul event: Steffi Walter won gold in the luge in 1988 competing for East Germany aged 36. This was beaten in 2006 by 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. This was beaten in 2010 when Swedish curler Anette Norberg won gold in the women's event aged 43 years and 104 days.

Oldest Female Competitor

The oldest female to compete in the Winter Olympics was Anne Abernathy of the United States Virgin Islands, who was 48 years and 308 days when she competed in the Luge at the 2002 Olympics. She also qualified for the 2006 Olympics four years later but during practice Abernathy crashed and broke her wrist and her scapula, and was forced to withdraw from competition. This record was technically surpased in 2018, 51-year-old curler Cheryl Bernard from Canada was only an alternate on her team and did not compete. Interestingly, if her team had won a medal, she would have alos received a medal and would have become the oldest Winter Olympic medalist (but not competitor!).

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

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 - Cecilia Colledge (11 years, 73 days)

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 was 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.


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