When Ulrike Meyfarth was sixteen years old, she finished third in the high jump at the 1972 West German Olympic trials and qualified for the Games.
The youngest and the oldest
In Munich, she beat her personal best by seven centimetres to tie the world record and earn the gold medal. To this day, she is the youngest person of either sex to win an athletics gold medal in an individual event. At the 1976 edition of the Olympic Games, Meyfarth failed to qualify for the final, and in 1980 her nation boycotted. However, she returned to the Olympic Games in 1984 and jumped 2.02m to earn a second gold medal. This time she became the oldest person to win an Olympic high jump competition. She is also one of only two women to earn athletics gold medals twelve years apart.