I competed in the 2012 London Olympics at the age of 16
I started playing table tennis at the age of 7
As I played more and more, I started seeing the beauty of the game. When I was 10, I realized I was good. I saw it was feasible to make the U15 National Team. I ended up making the team at 12.
Practice, practice, practice.
I would train 20 hours a week during school and 50 hours a week during breaks. Over the summer I trained in China. I missed almost 40 days of school because of competitions and training.
I would have morning, afternoon, and night practice.
In China, I would stay at a sports school where the top athletes would all live near each other. I would get to practice against players with a lot of different styles all in one place.
When I get nervous, I focus on strategy.
There is a lot of pressure. When I feel the pressure, I think about my opponents' strengths & weaknesses. That way I'd have a path to follow. I'm most nervous when I don't have a plan.
When watching at table tennis, look for the spin
Spin is the most important part of table tennis. The ball is small and moves very fast. You have to read the spin and react quickly. Look at how the players react.
At the Olympics, I felt like a completely different person.
Being in the village and knowing that everybody worked so hard to get there. People were so easy to talk to. The opening ceremony was really cool, walking with team USA and seeing so many flags.
A Parting Thought: Give table tennis a shot.
If you see it on TV, don't turn away. It's a really interesting sport if you give it a chance. I won't be in Rio this year, but a good friend just qualified.