Five days into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the world’s best athletes are still working hard to snag a medal and make their countries proud.
This year’s Olympics has seen many new faces and young blood, including a significant number of Generation Z (Gen Z) athletes taking the spots of their older Olympic predecessors.
However, a particular group stands out among the Gen Zs competing in this year’s Olympics — teen athletes.
Teen athletes are making headlines all around the world for their outstanding performance in the Tokyo Olympics, with some becoming Olympic champions even before they can learn how to drive back to their home countries.
今年女子街頭滑板項目的獎牌得主有13歲的西矢椛（Momiji Nishiya）和拉薏莎．李爾（Rayssa Leal），以及16歲的中山楓奈 (Funa Nakayama)。三位青年於週一分別拿下了該奧運項目的金、銀和銅牌，成為史上年紀最小的奧運獎牌得主之一。
Take, for example, skateboarding champions 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya and Rayssa Leal, as well as 16-year-old Funa Nakayama. The three teens took home the gold, silver, and bronze medals, respectively in the women’s street skateboarding event on Monday, making them a few of the youngest Olympic medallists in the history of the event.
Slightly older than the skateboarding trio is 17-year-old Alaskan swimming champion Lydia Jacoby who took home a gold medal in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke event on Tuesday.
Back home in Taiwan, we have seen athletes born during the turn of the millennium bringing home medals at the Tokyo Olympics as well.
They include taekwondo bronze medallist Lo Chia-ling (羅嘉翎), table tennis bronze medallist Lin Yun-ju (林昀儒) as well as artistic gymnast Hung Yuan-hsi (洪源禧), who did not win any medals but instead won the hearts of many back home for his youthful looks and uncanny resemblance to Taiwanese entertainer Dee Hsu’s (小S 徐熙娣) daughter.
The youngest athlete to compete in the Tokyo Olympics this year was 12-year-old Syrian table tennis player Hend Zaza, who was eliminated from the tournament after putting up a great fight against Austrian opponent Liu Jia (劉佳), who at 39 years of age is more than three times as old as Zaza.
The Tokyo Olympics is near its halfway mark and it is extremely heartening to see so many young athletes shining brightly in their events just five days into the Olympics.
The rise in the number of teen athletes in international sporting events will surely inspire our little ones to reach new heights in their sporting careers, and we can definitely look forward to more spectacular performances from these up and rising stars.