Denmark

Nathalie Wiksten
World Curling

12-year-old competes at world curling championship

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In a sport where athletes in their 40s and 50s have won Olympic medals, a 12-year-old girl competed at a world championship last week.

Nathalie Wiksten and her dad, Kasper, made up Denmark’s team at the world mixed doubles curling championship in Lethbridge, Canada.

“We just started [competing] this year for fun,” Kasper said at worlds. “It was supposed to be just a father-daughter thing. And then, suddenly, we qualify for the worlds. So it’s been going really fast. But we love it.”

Mixed doubles makes its Olympic debut in PyeongChang. Worlds in Lethbridge marked the final qualifying event.

The Wikstens did not qualify an Olympic spot for Denmark, finishing 2-5 in group play and failing to reach the 16-team knockout stage.

“We had some disappointing games where it would have been nice to play better,” Kasper said, according to the World Curling Federation. “[Playing with Nathalie], I can’t describe it. I think we have learned a lot, especially Nathalie has, because I think the most import thing for us was to come here and learn something about the mixed doubles game.”

There is no age minimum for curling at the Olympics.

The youngest Olympic curler of all time was German Stella Heiss, who competed at Vancouver 2010 at age 17, according to Olympic historians.

American Erika Brown competed at the 1988 Olympics at age 15, when curling was an unofficial demonstration sport, and again in Sochi at age 41.

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MORE: U.S. qualifies for Olympics in every curling event

Badminton fastest smash record broken (video)

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Denmark’s Mads Pieler Kolding broke the record for fastest badminton smash in a competition in India on Monday, according to Danish media.

Kolding, who has not competed in the Olympics, recorded 264 miles per hour, according to a broadcast and Danish media.

That would break the Guinness World Record of 253 mph set by three-time Olympic silver medalist Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in 2015.

However, the fastest smash outside of competition is reportedly 306 mph, reportedly recorded here.

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Paul Elvstrom, Olympic sailing legend, dies at 88

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Danish sailor Paul Elvstrom, the first Olympian to win individual gold medals at four Games, has died at age 88, according to the Denmark sailing federation.

Elvstrom won firefly gold at London 1948, then gold in a slightly different event, the finn, at Helsinki 1952, Melbourne 1956 and Rome 1960.

Since, five Olympians have won individual gold medals at four Games — Al Oerter (discus), Carl Lewis (long jump), Ben Ainslie (sailing), Michael Phelps (swimming) and Kaori Icho (wrestling).

Elvstrom also competed in the 1968, 1972, 1984 and 1988 Olympics, completing a 40-year span of Olympic competition at age 60 in Seoul.

His daughter, Trine, crewed for him in 1984 and 1988, making them the only father-daughter combination to compete together at an Olympics.

He was named Denmark’s greatest male athlete of the 20th century.

MORE: IOC: Rio Olympics were ‘perfect imperfect Games’