Did it ever come to your mind or care to know who is the youngest athlete in the London Summer Olympics?
Right away, what comes to our mind is somebody from the gymnastics division must be the youngest athlete as we have always seen from past Olympic games. Not at all since gymnastics rules had changed. One must be 16 years old on the day of the competition to qualify as a gymnast.
Now, without much ado, meet Adzo Kpossi. This beautiful girl with a smile that stretches wide across her face is from Togo, a small West African country of about 6 million people. She is 13 years old and competing in the 50m freestyle swimming.
Kpossi came in second in her three-person heat, beating Masempe Theko from Lesotho but not catching Nafissatou Moussa Adamou, a 14-year-old from Niger. In the end, Kpossi ended up coming in 72nd in a field of 73 swimmers, but her performance was still notable. She beat her personal best time—and she’s getting a lot of attention as the youngest athlete in the London Olympic Games.
After her race, Kpossi stopped to talk to the press. Was she excited just to be here? “No, no, no” she said, stamping her foot. “I am used to it. I went to the world championships in Shanghai last year, so this wasn’t my first time swimming in a big pool.”
Kpossi may still be too far away from breaking Olympic records but she is certainly a swimming athlete to keep an eye on. When Michael Phelps, at 15, first dipped in the Sydney Olympic pool in 2000 he didn’t get a medal that year but he has since gone on to win so many that you have to wonder what he ever does with all those medals. Now he rose to fame as the greatest Olympian of all time after clinching his 22nd medal in the sport that he breathes.
Adzo Kpossi is shockingly young but she is perfectly legit and fit. We can only look forward to her performances in years to come. In four years, with more scientific training and conditioning, she could be a gold medalist.