She might as well be considered royalty when considering the titans of industry she has the privilege of rubbing elbows with even as a 16-year-old table tennis player.
In this tale of Gumpian proportions, ping-ponger Ariel Hsing is the heroine. The Bay Area native has made it through the first two rounds to the Round of 32, where she’ll face off against China’s Li Xiaoxia at 3 p.m. central time. To get this far, Hsing defeated Mexico’s Yadira Silva in straight sets, 4-0, in the opening round, a match which took all of 20 minutes.
Hsing’s second round opponent, Luxembourg’s Ni Xia Lian, was more than three times Hsing’s age and a tougher opponent, pushing the match to six sets. However, despite dropping the second and fifth sets, Hsing took the first, third and fourth before closing it out in the sixth set, 4-2. Three of the sets were forced past the typical 11th set point to 12 points, and the match took 38 minutes.
What’s more impressive about Hsing is the humility and innocence she maintains while balancing her international competitions, high school responsibilities and the high profile that comes with her friendships with people like billionaires Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, whom she calls “Uncle Bill” and “Uncle Warren.” She had the unimaginable opportunity to play table tennis against Buffet at his 75th birthday party and has been invited back to several important Berkshire Hathaway meetings. Can you say lifetime sponsorship exemptions?
Here’s a great interview with Ariel from quanmansports on YouTube. Credit to the poster.
NBC has done their homework on this girl and has compiled photos and video profiles on her, which I’ll link to. All credit goes to NBC, and I’m happy to share their content.
If you’re looking for an American to rally around in one of the traditionally unpopular events, Hsing is it. Here’s the link to her upcoming match.