The youngest competitor at the London 2012 olympics turned out to be African…YES!! She is 13 year-old Adzo Kpossi from Togo in West Africa.Her debut received a lot of attention and l was in awe myself when l heard about her
When asked if she was excited to be participating in the Games, The Guardian reported that she stamped her foot and responded “No, no, no! I am used to it. I went to the world championships in Shanghai last year, so this wasn’t my first time swimming in a big pool.” She informed the world that though her part of the country only has one pool, at the Hotel Mercure, she is happy training there and doesn’t need any sympathy from anyone, and ran off giggling to the locker room.
Her training was a big sacrifice for her modest family, her father and coach, Kwami Kpossi told AFP. The teenager “has nothing to train with: no starting blocks, no flippers, no goggle straps.”
“The pool is 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) from our house. It costs us a lot of money. Every three days, I have to fill up the car. But the Togolese Olympic Committee gives us a fixed amount towards the petrol.”
At the Aquatics Centre on Friday, in front of thousands of spectators, she clocked the second-slowest time in the 50m freestyle heats.
Her goal at the games was to beat her personal best record of 44.60seconds in the 50m freestyle.
“My goal is to beat my personal best,” Kpossi said. “I think I can do it, with the support of my friends. They have told me not to worry about the others, but uphold the honour of Togo.
“I put all that in the hands of the Lord”.
And she has done just that! She came 72nd the first heat of the first round of the women’s 50m freestyle.
In doing so, she fulfilled her dream. She finished at 37.55 seconds, a new personal best.
At age 15, Michael Phelps competed in the Sydney 2000 Olympics. At the time he was the “youngest American male swimmer at an Olympic Games in 68 years.” He didn’t get a medal that year but he has since gone on to win so many.