Rio 2016: Olympic athletes range from age 13 to 62

62-year-old Julie Brougham of New Zealand riding Vom Feinstein competes at Rio. She's the oldest Olympian in this year's games. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

The Olympics brings people from all over the world together, but it also brings people of all ages together.

The oldest Olympian in Rio this year is 62-year-old Julie Brougham, who competed in equestrian dressage for New Zealand, but didn’t qualify for the finals on Monday.


It was Brougham’s first Olympics, but it might not be her last. She could be back in four years for the Tokyo Olympics; the oldest athlete ever to compete in dressage was Austria’s Arthur von Pongracz who was 72 in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

He’s tied with the oldest known medalist, shooter Oscar Swahn from Sweden, who competed in the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium.

While Reuters reports that Brougham brushes off questions about her age, she credits her partnership with her horse, Vom Feinstein, as the reason for her success.

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“It’s a unique partnership. OK, you have to be on a good horse and you have to be a good rider but there’s something extra there in terms of relationship between you and certainly that’s how I feel with Vom Feinsten,” Brougham told Reuters.

Rower Lesley Thompson-Willie is Canada’s oldest athlete at 56. She’s old enough to be some of her teammates’ mother.

Oksana Chusovitina, 41, of Uzbekistan competes in vault on August 7, 2016. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Even more impressive, Uzebeistan’s 41-year-old Oksana Chusovitina competed in gymnastics in her seventh Olympics last week. She came in seventh on the vault in a sport dominated by teenagers.

The youngest athlete in this year’s games is 13-year-old Gaurika Singh, who swam in the women’s 100m backstroke for Nepal. She came in 31st overall.

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Gaurika Singh, 13, of Nepal competes in backstroke on Aug. 7, 2016 in Rio. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

On Canada’s team, 16-year-old Penny Oleksiak is tied for youngest. She swam her way to four medals last week.

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But neither Singh nor Oleksiak come close to the youngest known Olympic medalist: the IOC says Italy’s Luigina Giavotti took home a silver medal in gymnastics at 11 years and 308 days old in 1928.

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