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13 Feb 2006
Olympic News

Youngest and Oldest

First record broken at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin: the age of the oldest competitor has risen from 53 to 54. Scott Baird, a member of the US curling team at the Turin Games, has dethroned James Coates. Coates took part in the skeleton competitions at the St Moritz Games in 1948 when he was 53.
Beating her own record
The oldest woman is still Anne Abernathy, from the Virgin Island, who already held the women’s record in Salt Lake City, aged 48. Today she is competing in the Games at the age of 52.
Youngest female athlete a snowboarder
The youngest female competitor at the Turin Games is a snowboarder: China’s Sun Zhifeng aged 14, ranked 103rd in the world. Her objective is clear: she is in Turin to learn. Although very young, she has not beaten the absolute record for youngest athlete at the Winter Games, which is held by Britain’s Cecilia Colledge, who skated at the Lace Placid Games in 1932 at just 11 years old.
Youngest male athlete Italian
The youngest male athlete is Italian: snowboarder Manuel Pietropoli is only just 15. He was preceded by Jan Hoffmann (Germany), who took part in the 1988 Calgary Games in figure skating. This would not be possible today owing to the age limit fixed in all the sports by the federations concerned.

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