11 Talented Young Athletes Dominating the Sports World
Move over Babe Ruth: Last summer, this 13-year-old became a household name thanks to her powerful 70-mile-per-hour pitch that led to a historic shutout during the 2014 Little League World Series. Davis' team's win received unbelievable shoutouts from Ellen DeGeneres and Michelle Obama—and landed her the cover of Sports Illustrated
If you've ever watched Dancing With The Stars, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, or America's Got Talent, then you may recognize this tiny 12-year-old dancing sensation. Sophia Lucia's advanced techniques and killer pirouettes earned her numerous awards at various dance competitions like JUMP and Rainbow National Dance Compeition. In fact, she holds the Guinness World Record for performing the most consecutive pirouettes—55 total!
You know Serena and Venus Williams, you know Anna Kournikova...but do you know Gabriella Price? You will soon—according to legendary tennis coach Rick Macci, the 11 year-old is almost as good as those legendary players. At age nine, Gabriella took the National Clay Court Championships by storm as the youngest player competing in the tournament—her rivals were four years older than her. In just three matches during the NCCC, she climbed 100 spots in the ranks. Not too shabby!
At 14 years old, Chloe Kim is already competing alongside pro snowboarders twice her age. She earned the silver metal at the X Games, coming in second to Olympic snowboarder Kelly Clark (who, by the way, is 31!). She would have been part of the USA snowboarding team in Sochi, except for one minor issue: She was too young! Chloe is also part of the Fab Five, a group of exceptionally athletic kids who were finalists for Sport's Illustrated Kids' Sportskid of the Year.
Aside from being a typical, Instagram-addicted teenager, Jaysea Devoe is also a yoga teacher at Bergamot Spa in Encinitas, CA. That's right, at 13 years old, Jaysea is a certified instructor with students aged four to 60. Back in February, she completed her 200-hour yoga certification program and is registered under the Yoga Alliance. (Inspired to try yoga? See our 12 Top Tips for Beginner Yogis.)
With sharp reflexes, flexibility, and loving support from her rock-climbing mother, Brooke Raboutou has already shattered records for the most difficult climbs in the country. She was the first 10-year-old to climb boulders with difficulty levels of V11 and 514A—something even the most advanced climbers can't do. Brooke is now 13 and says she's still on a mission to master every climbing route considered "impossible!"
Mike McGill was 20 years old when he invented the 540-degree "McTwist." Sabre Norris mastered this skateboarding trick when she was nine! The Australian native gained worldwide attention after a video of her landing the infamous 540-degree spin went viral. Another awesome fact? She made history as the first Australian female to nail this advance skill. (Want more skateboarding? Find out how Skateboarder Leticia Bufoni Is Ready to Roll at X Games.)
Jaden Newman is just your average fourth-grade basketball player—except that she plays for the high school varsity team. In August, the 9-year-old received a recruitment letter from the University of Miami for their basketball program. Sorry Hurricanes, you'll have to wait a few years to get her on your team.
Twelve-year-old Tionna Brown is proof that you only need a year to accomplish a goal—that's exactly how long it took for her to shatter established track records and become a running superstar. Over the summer, she competed against her peers in USA Youth Outdoor Track & Field and won the 100-meter and 200-meter races, then ran at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic Championships and won all three events. This month, she's appearing alongside Mo'ne and Chloe as a finalist for Sport's Illustrated Kids' Sportskid of the Year. (Improve your running with these 9 Smart Running Tips from Shalane Flanagan.)
Don't let the pigtails and cutsy outfits fool you. At 12 years old, Lucy Li takes golf very seriously. This past year, she became the youngest golfer to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open. (Learn more about Li in What You Can Learn from Golf's Youngest Player.)
Catherine Bellis made quite the statement during this summer's U.S. World Open. At only 15, she was not only the youngest player competing at the tournament, she was the youngest to actually win a match—something that hasn't happened since 1996. This September, Catherine was named the top junior tennis player in the world.