In yet another piece of news that will dwarf the accomplishments of your youth, a Syrian 11-year-old has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in table tennis. Unsurprisingly, she will become one of the youngest competitors in the history of the Olympics.
Hend Zaza was born on Jan. 1, 2009, according to the International Table Tennis Federation, and won the West Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament in Jordan last week to make it to the Tokyo Games. Zaza was not the only young competitor among the entries of the tournament. There were also two 14-year-olds and a 19-year old. The oldest competitor was 42.
As one might be able to surmise from that range, table tennis is one of the few Olympic sports without an age requirement. It's what allows Zaza to become the fifth-youngest Olympian in the history of the games. She'll be the youngest person to compete since Romanian figure skater Beatrice Hustiu competed at the age of 11 years and 158 days at the 1968 Winter Olympics. Gymnast Dimitrios Loundras is believed to be the youngest person to ever compete in the Olympics when he represented Greece at 10 years 218 days -- he won a bronze medal in team parallel bars. An unidentified boy who served as coxswain for the Netherlands' two-man boat at the 1900 Paris games has had his age estimated to be as low as seven, but as high as 14.
Zaza's only competition on an elite international sports stage as far as age is concerned is Sky Brown, an 11-year-old British skateboarder who won a bronze medal at last summer's world championships. It's expected that Brown will qualify for the British team. He turns 12 just two weeks before the Opening Ceremony in Tokyo.