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When it comes to Olympic gymnasts, does age impact performance?

After a solid gold medal performance yesterday, some are calling 2012 United States women’s gymnastics team the greatest in U.S. history.

Historically, the average age of U.S. women’s gymnastics teams has hovered around age 16 – and this year is no different.  On the 2012 U.S. women’s gymnastics team, ages of the athletes range from 15 to 18 years of age.

But we were curious: does the age of a gymnast really matter?  Are younger gymnasts putting their bodies at risk by competing so heavily while so young?  We asked University of Minnesota experts to find out.

Comments
  1. August 9, 2016 3:48 pm | Julie Johnson Says:

    Do gymnast s need to be 16 in 2016 this year to compete

    • August 9, 2016 3:49 pm | Julie Johnson Says:

      Can you please help me with the age thing

    • August 10, 2016 3:36 pm | Caroline Marin Says:

      Julie,

      Thanks for your note. In the 2016 Olympics, gymnasts must be turning 16 within the calendar year in which the Olympics are being held. Thus, any competitor born in 2000 or earlier is eligible for gymnastics competition in the 2016 Rio de Janiero games.