Age is a characteristic beyond a person's control. Similar to height, skin colour, nationality, or sex at birth, a person's age is an attribute he or she can neither negotiate nor modify. Limiting a person's eligibility to join a group or perform an action based on his or her age can be problematic if a strong justification for the age-based exclusion does not exist.
This paper discusses whether or not the application of minimum and maximum age limits in the Olympic Games is a justifiable practice that ought to continue. Through an analysis of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s current and previous stances toward age as a criterion of Olympic eligibility, this study demonstrates that while minimum age limits are necessary to protect young athletes' health and rights to open futures, one cannot justify upper age limits using the same paternalistic reasoning and arguments.
The IOC's Position on Age Limits
The Olympic Charter...