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Rachel Sung: From the Bay Area to the Olympics

Rachel Sung: From the Bay Area to the Olympics
Burlingame, CA – Rachel Sung, a 20-year-old table tennis player from the Bay Area, has officially qualified for the Olympics, marking a significant milestone in her athletic career. Born in Mountain View and raised in Campbell, Rachel’s journey to the global stage is a testament to her dedication and the strong support system around her.
Growing up in an academically driven environment, Rachel’s true passion lay in a family sport: table tennis. Both her parents played the sport in college back in Taiwan, where they met, and Rachel’s earliest memories include picking up balls for her oldest sister during basement practice sessions. This familial connection to the sport laid the foundation for Rachel’s future success.
“The Olympics always felt like an extremely far away dream,” Rachel reflects. “Throughout my years of playing table tennis, I focused on smaller goals, taking everything one step at a time. It wasn’t until 2023 that I realized there was a solid chance to make the Olympics. From that point on, my mentality shifted, and I knew there would have to be sacrifices made.” These sacrifices included taking a gap quarter from school in the fall of 2023 to dedicate herself entirely to training.
Rachel’s qualification for the Olympics is a moment she describes as surreal. “Immediately, the tears came, and all I could think about was how grateful I was to my family and all the people who supported me. It felt extremely rewarding to see all our years of dedication to the sport pay off.”
Rachel credits much of her success to her personal relationships and team dynamics. Growing up, she looked up to Lily Zhang, a fellow table tennis player who made her first Olympics when Rachel was just a little girl. Now, having a personal relationship with Lily, Rachel describes her as a vital mentor. “The more I get to know her, the more respect I have for her. She constantly leads by example, is positive and encouraging, and helps me deal with stress and pressure.”
The bond between Rachel and her teammates, including Lily and Amy Wang, is strong both on and off the court. “We’re always talking and laughing, and I never feel discouraged to confide in them about anything. The key to us working well together during competitions is our genuine support for one another as friends in both table tennis and life.”
Training at 888 Table Tennis Club was a crucial part of Rachel’s preparation for the Olympic trials. The club’s flexible schedules, diverse community of international players, and supportive coaching staff provided the perfect environment for her growth. “What stands out to me about 888 is the community. The coaching staff makes every player feel seen, always giving specific coaching and adjusting training formats to the needs of the players,” Rachel notes.
As Rachel Sung heads to the Olympics, her journey serves as an inspiring reminder of the power of perseverance, family support, and the importance of community in achieving one’s dreams.