Tthrough the history of Olympic games, there are numerous examples of gifted young people making a tremendous impact on the world stage.
The Tokyo Olympics will continue that trend as a 12-year-old prodigy Hend Zaza ready to make her Olympic debut.
The Syrian table tennis star booked her ticket for the Olympic Games back in February 2020 when she defeated the 42-year-old Mariana Sahakian of Lebanon in the Asian qualification phase.
She is the first Syrian table tennis player to win national titles at all levels and is now looking forward to competing in Tokyo this summer.
“It is a gift for my country, my parents and all of my friends“Said Zaza.
As with other Syrian children, many of ZazaHer childhood was marked by the Syrian civil war, and although table tennis was an escape route for her, the war has always remained present.
Constant power outages have resulted in some of their workouts being postponed as they take place indoors in a room with four rundown tables and a shaky floor, but even that didn’t detract from their unstoppable desire to be Olympic medalists for table tennis players.
Sport is in her blood
Zaza is the youngest of five children with four older brothers, her father is a former soccer player and now a gymnastics teacher.
“Sport is in my blood”She said in an interview with CGTN.com.
“My family has supported me enormously since the beginning and, as the youngest, they look after me a lot.
“They help me get ahead in sports.”
She hasn’t neglected her studies as she loves math and is a self-proclaimed Harry Potter fan, but for now she wants to make a big impact in Tokyo this summer.