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Youngest athletes feel pressure-free

Despite being some of the Games' youngest athletes, the 15-year-olds say they're not feeling any additional pressures to prove themselves and are being treated like any other athlete.

“Pressure is something you put on yourself,” said the youngest of all the Vancouver Games' athletes, Australian moguls skier Britteny Cox. “It's actually pretty exciting to know I'm the youngest of everybody here.”

Cox said that despite becoming the subject of some friendly athlete-to-athlete antics, she feels she is still being respected as an athlete.

“It'll be five o'clock in the afternoon and some of the boys in my team who like to make jokes go 'Britt it's past your bedtime - shouldn't you be going to bed?'” Cox laughs. “It's funny but they also take me seriously.”

The young Japanese speed skater Miho Takagi said her age does not factor in determining her sporting abilities.

“I don't pay too much attention to my age, I concentrate on my race,” Takagi said. “I'm quite young but it's a benefit to be my age because I can learn more.”

Takagi said she not only feels her older teammates treat her as though she was their age, but also that they look after her.

Takagi and Cox both said they were surprised they were going to be able to participate in the Vancouver Games, and while they didn't win any medals, they said the chance to participate at a young age meant they'd have a leg up in the Games to come.

By Kimiya Shokoohi, YOG reporter

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