Gaurika Singh, all of 13 years old and from Nepal, will be the youngest participant at the Rio Olympics that begins in two days. The 100m backstroke event would, however, be a lesser challenge for the lass who lived through the harrowing experience of the 2015 earthquake that hit Nepal.
"That`s quite cool, a bit unreal, too," said Singh with all the precocious charm that a kid in her early teens could muster, reported AFP. Gaurika will be 13 years and 255 days old when she takes to the water on Sunday in the 100m backstroke heats.
Gaurika lives and schools in London, but was in Nepal for the national championships when the earthquake, that left around 9,000 dead, hit the nation.
"It was terrifying," she said of the experience.
"Fortunately, it was a new building so it did not collapse like others around.
"They made me a goodwill ambassador," said Singh, who visits Nepal about once a year to visit family, reported AFP.
"It`s unbelievable that she`s the youngest Olympian in Rio and amazing how she copes with all the pressure," said her father, Paras who will be cheering the daughter from the sidelines at Rio. Gaurika would have modest goals at the Olympics as she would look to improve on her own national record of 1min 07.31sec in the event.