Sydney McLaughlin isn’t even out of high school yet, and she’s already accomplished more than some people ever will in a lifetime! Click through to learn more about Team USA’s youngest track and field competitor!
1. She’s the youngest Olympian on US track and field in a long time!
Before Sydney McLaughlin competed in at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the last 16-year-old on on Team USA track and field was Rhonda Brady in 1976. Sydney went to the Olympics at 16, and celebrated her 17th birthday on August 7 while in Rio, two days after the opening ceremonies. What a present! Rhonda was a 100m hurdler.
2. She’s set a record for American 400m hurdlers her age
No American Olympian who’s Sydney’s age has ever run the 400m hurdles faster than her. At the New Balance Nationals in June 2016, she ran a 54.46, breaking a record set by Leslie Maxie in 1984. She then broke her own record at the Olympic trials, running a 54.14. Wow!
3. She does extensive volunteer work
She’s not just a record breaking athlete; she volunteers for multiple charities in her New Jersey hometown of Dunellen. Sydney works for the Central Jersey chapter of Hope Worldwide, helping distribute fire safety and disaster relief info to people from the American Red Cross. She also helped out in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and volunteers in soup kitchens.
4. She comes from a family of competitive track and field stars
Running runs in the family! Sydney’s father, Willie McLaughlin, was a semi-finalist in the 400 meters at the 1984 Olympic Trials. Her brother, Taylor McLaughlin, is a champion hurdler in training! He took home the silver in the 400m hurdles at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships. Even her mom, Mary McLaughlin, did track and field in high school!
5. She’ll be competing in Women’s 400m hurdles on August 15
On Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympics, Sydney will be giving it all she’s got and competition in the finals of the Women’s 400m hurdles! During the preliminaries, she ranked 21, but that race could be hers in an instant. Don’t forget; her just being there is a record in itself!
HollywoodLifers, are you looking forward to seeing Sydney race for Team USA? Tell us in the comments!