Meet earthquake survivor, the youngest athlete at Rio Olympics

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Bengaluru, Aug 2: The youngest athlete to compete at the Rio Olympics 2016 is Nepalese swimmer 13-year-old Gaurika Singh.

Olympics special site; Photo gallery

Gaurika, who has just entered teenage, will be participating in the Women's 100m backstroke category. Her personal best timing in this category is 68.12 seconds.

Gaurika Singh, youngest athlete to participate at Rio Olympics (Image courtesy:

The story of Gaurika is intimidating as she had survived the horrendous experience of earthquake in Nepal last year.

The swimmer was present at Kathmadu in April 2015 for national for the national championships when the massive earthquake struck Nepal causing huge damage to the country. Several people were killed and injured.

Speaking about her experience to the official Rio Olympics website, Gaurika said: "It was terrifying. We were on the fifth floor of a building that we couldn't escape from, so we sheltered under a table for 10 minutes in the middle of the room and had to go down the stairs afterwards amid the aftershocks.

"Fortunately, it was a new building so it did not collapse like others around."

Singh did her part of charity as she had donated her winnings from the national championships, about 200 pounds sterling.

Gaurika is now a goodwill ambassador of Nepal. She presently lives in England with her family. Her father Paras Singh is a reputed doctor in the country.

Olympics participation came as a pleasant surprise to the youngster who had always dreamt of participating in the grand event.

Singh continued: "I wanted to go but wasn't sure I'd be able to because I'd be too young. When I found out a month ago, it was a big shock."

Speaking about his daughter's acheivement, Dr. Paras Singh said: "She's special. It's unbelievable that she's the youngest Olympian in Rio and amazing how she copes with all the pressure.

"My dad's coming with me to Rio, and my grandparents and friends at school are really proud but they're really good at their own things."

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