If sitting on your couch watching world-class athletes run, jump, twirl and swim doesn’t make you feel lazy enough, 13-year-old Gaurika Singh has a sports resume that will make you feel like a true underachiever.
On Sunday, August 7th at approximately 12:00pm EST, Singh will compete in the 100m backstroke.
She’s not well-known yet—The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Singh was stopped by security while trying to enter the Olympic pool for practice—but her Olympic debut will surely change that.
At just 13 years and 255 days old, Singh is the youngest competitor in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics and will be one of five delegates from Nepal, where she was born and lived until the age of two. She has already begun to make a name for herself in international competitive swimming, winning one silver and three bronze medals at the 2016 South Asian Games. She also holds the Nepalese National Record for the 100m backstroke—the event she will swim in Rio.
Even though she may not break any world records, or even medal in Rio, Singh says she hopes to swim a personal best—which would still “be like nine seconds behind the best swimmers.”
Mostly, Singh is just happy to be a part of the Olympics at all. “[It’s] quite cool, a bit unreal, too,” she told reporters. And she is lucky: Last year, while in Nepal for the National Championships, Singh survived a massive earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 people and left 3.5 million more homeless. Singh took shelter with her mother and brother, part of a support network that has made her international travel and competition possible. But her brush with death has only made her stronger and more fearless in the water.
“She’s special,” her father, Paras Singh, told reporters. “It’s unbelievable that she’s the youngest Olympian in Rio and amazing how she copes with all the pressure.”
And after Rio? The baby-faced, braces-sporting, teenager will return to London to start ninth grade next month as an Olympian—not a title most other high schoolers can claim.
But Singh says she travels in a pretty accomplished crowd. “My friends are really happy for me but they are also good at stuff,” she told reporters. “One of my best friends plays Matilda on West End and another one went to junior Wimbledon. So we’re all good at different things.”
Watch the poised, humble, 13-year-old make waves at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
How to Live Stream the 2016 Rio Olympics:
NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app will be live streaming coverage of the Games for pay TV subscribers via TV Everywhere. You can download the NBC Sports app to your Android TV, Apple TV, Xbox or Roku or use the iOS, Android or Windows Phone apps.
You can also live stream Olympic matches from NBC here.
Watch Gaurika Singh Break the National Record for the 100m Backstroke at the 2015 FINA World Championship: