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Youngest Olympic track star on Team USA is bringing the heat

Jasmine Moore began running in 5th grade, and by the time she was an 8th grader, she broke the national record in her age group.
Credit: AP
Jasmine Moore competes during the finals of the women's triple jump at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

ATLANTA — Nothing about Jasmine Moore's school year was usual. She made the decisive move to Athens during a pandemic, and despite the changes, Moore found herself at her first Olympics. The 20-year-old is the youngest on Team USA's track and field team. 

"I’m one of the younger ones on the team but I’m ready to compete and hang with everyone else." she said.

Like many other 20-year-olds, Moore started college amid a global pandemic. But unlike many, by the end her sophomore year, she earned a spot on the Olympic team. 

"Means a lot because I have trained for this my whole life, and every track athlete's goal is to make the Olympics, so for me to be able to say I have achieved my goal is amazing," Moore said. 

The signs of Moore's Olympic potential came early. She began running in 5th grade, and by the time she was an 8th grader, she broke the national record for her age group. After all, track and field are in her blood. Her mom ran for Florida State and her dad for Western Michigan. 

Now, five years later, she's a Bulldog and U.S. Olympian. 

RELATED: The Georgia Bulldogs have more medals at the Tokyo Olympics than most countries right now

She is not alone. Her teammate and role model Keturah Orji competes beside her in the triple jump. Moore said Orji is one of the reasons she moved out to Georgia and attended the University of Georgia.

A pandemic also meant training looked different. Closed gyms posed a challenge for Moore, so she trained, however she could.

"In the garage doing my ab workouts and working out with my mom," she said. 

The extra year of training gave Moore a chance for growth, both as an athlete and a person. Moore said she feels these Olympics hold much more significance for everyone -- an opportunity to unite.

"Due to COVID and racial injustice last year and still occurring one time for our country to come together and unite and cheer for everyone and find a positive light,"

Moore said she was excited she could represent Team USA, and making it to the finals would be the icing on top of her Olympic debut. Aside from wanting medals, she also wants to meet Simone Biles. 

"she's everyone's favorite who doesn't love her," she said.

Moore competes in the preliminaries for the triple jump on Friday, July 30 at 6:05 a.m. ET.