Wang Chen is a name which has long been renowned in table tennis as the USA's most successful Olympic Table Tennis player ever.
In 2008 she was part of the US team which placed 5th at the Beijing Olympic Games, and put on an incredible display to reach the quarterfinals of the Women's Singles, a historical result for USA.
Now she is preparing to make her mark on the 2020 US Olympic Trials, which will be held February 27th – March 1st at Santa Monica College in California.
In 2006 and 2007 Wang was both US National Champion and North American Champion, reaching a peak world ranking representing the US of 15th. She also reached the singles quarterfinal of the World Championships in 2007.
All very impressive, but you can take a trip even further back in her history to discover even more amazing results.
She was ranked as high as 4th in the world during her career, representing China at the highest level events in world table tennis.
She won the 1997 World Championship Team event with China, and also became Asian Cup Champion that same year.
A rich career behind her, but above all shines through her passion to pursue the Olympic Dream.
In 2008 at the Beijing Olympics she recalls her career's most valuable lesson - “Always believe in yourself that you can win and always look for a way to encourage yourself to win.”
She recounts watching the Olympic Torch every day at the Beijing Games to encourage herself and instill believe in herself that she could win.
Her passion and hard work at that time was clear. She reflects on her two years of preparation overseas before Beijing. Traveling alone with only a suitcase, no coach and no trainer.
“I was lucky to have Jerry sponsoring me for my training expenses. I traveled to Japan, Germany and China for training. When I beat Kim Kyung Ah in Beijing I cried. All my effort paid of in that moment, I really can't explain that feeling,” says Wang, who is now pursuing a new Olympic Dream, to represent the USA in 2020 in Tokyo.
She may be in the later stages of her career, but has shown she is still able to compete with the Nation's best, noting her special efforts to keep up with the sport's many changes.
“Table Tennis technique has developed so fast in recent years, to follow the trend is very important. I am trying to follow it as much as I can to stay at a high level.”
Wang admits that the preparation is harder than before, but she remains focused, noting that Faith is the main key in her preparation.
As the US Olympic Trial looms, Wang continues to prepare to fight for a strong showing, and also hopes to set an example for young ambitious US players.
“Table Tennis players have to sacrifice a lot themselves to pursue the dream of being a world class professional player. It is very hard to do for most American players. I hope I can support them to pursue their dream in the future.”
No doubt, eyes will be on Wang Chen at Santa Monica College as she brings pure determination to the table on her journey to making the team.