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Local table tennis phenom makes Olympics

Okay, so I officially have a new “I-can’t-believe-they-get-to-do-this-professionally” sport for this year’s Olympic Games in London.

My go-to crazy sport in the Olympics has always been curling. It’s so primeval I can’t even stand it. Well now, curling and javelin and all their old-school glory are going to have to step aside and make way for table tennis.

Yes. Table tennis. Ping pong. (Though not in Ding Dang. -Ed.) That game that everyone plays in their garages during late summer barbecues when they’d rather enjoy their beers and not waste them in beer pong cups.

Table tennis is now an Olympic sport. And Friday at a qualifying event in Cary, N.C., sixteen-year-old Ariel Hsing from San Jose came from behind against Canadian Chris Xu to secure the right to represent the good ol’ U.S. of A. in London.

Hsing is already a star in her own right. The San Jose native won two bronze medals in the 2011 Pan American Games and becoming the youngest-ever women’s singles competitor in table tennis.

In her first match, Hsing beat Lily Zhang, a seventeen-year-old from Palo Alto who also happens to be Hsing’s practice partner and best friend.

And how does a 16-year-old feel about making the Olympics? She told The AP:

“I don’t really know how to feel right now. It’s been a goal of mine that I’ve been working on for many years, and for me, it won’t sink in until a couple of days.”

And if this table tennis thing doesn’t work out, Hsing’s already got friends in the right places. Like mega-gazillionaire Warren Buffett, who has invited Hsing to multiple shareholder’s meetings including a fresh challenge extended this year.

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