“It’s never too late to start anything, as long as you have passion for it and work hard.” – Angela Guan
by Barbara Wei
2015 US Women’s World Team Member, 16 year old Angela Guan, only began playing table tennis five years ago after spending most of her childhood competing in gymnastics. However, table tennis runs in Angela’s family, with both her grandfather and her mother playing a large role in getting her started in the sport. Both Angela’s grandfather and mother play with long pips, so it was natural for her to follow in their footsteps in terms of her style. After attending a few group lessons in 2011 at Silicon Valley Table Tennis Club (SVTTC), Angela decided to become a chopper, one of the first American trained choppers in recent history. Since first touching a racket 5 years ago, Angela has rapidly climbed the US cadet, junior and senior women’s ranks, qualifying as coach’s pick for the 2014 World Championships, and making the 2014 US Junior Girls National Team.
Today, the high school junior resides in the Bay Area and largely trains at SVTTC, where she got her start. She trains at least an hour every day with her coach (Steven Wang), and supplements those lessons with training sessions with fellow Bay Area junior superstars such as Victor Liu. After a very successful 2015 National Women’s Team Trial, Angela will have a busy spring season, competing at the World Championships in Su Zhou, China from April 28rd – May 3rd, and then at the Canadian Junior Championships and North American Cup from May 10th to May 17th in Markham, Ontario.
Angela is especially excited to compete in her second World Championships, as she thoroughly enjoyed her experience last year in Tokyo. In addition, the World Championships provides a unique experience for Angela to interact and learn from the world’s best defensive players.
Like many other US junior athletes, Angela balances a difficult academic work load and extensive table tennis training and traveling. However, she attributes her successes both academically and athletically to the amazing support she has gotten from her family, coaches and community. Individually, Angela wants to be part of the 2016 Brazil Olympic team, but more broadly, she hopes that she can inspire more young people to take up and enjoy the sport of table tennis in the US, regardless of their age or talent level.