Local ping-pong whiz kid London-bound 0
Richmond's Andre Ho is set to compete in the London 2012 Olympics for ping-pong. (CARMINE MARINELLI/24 HOURS)
Despite mounting excitement for the London Games - just nine days remain before the July 27 opening ceremonies - Richmond athlete Andre Ho remains humble preparing for his Olympic debut.
The 20-year-old table tennis player, who appeared at the Richmond Olympic Oval Tuesday for his final competition prior to jetting off to the U.K., won't even muse about the possibility of earning a medal.
"My focus is on each point, each match, and if I do well I think it will just generally progress me round by round."
His national teammates Pierre-Luc Hinse and Wang Zhen also made the trek from the trio's training centre in Ottawa to the West Coast for one last pre-Olympic showdown.
The Cambie Secondary School alum confesses he's relieved to have those ping-pong players on his side, noting they rank as some of the best in the world.
Now he trains with Hinse and Zhen up to six hours a day - more than double what he did growing up - leaving him in the mood to do little more than surf the Internet or watch The Big Bang Theory on TV when he gets home.
"I'm just like any normal kid."
But even that normal kid from Richmond began practising two or three hours a day after picking up a paddle when he was seven.
Although Ho didn't really know what he was doing at first, he persisted throughout his teenage years before making the B.C. provincial team.
Now that he's made the national team - something he insists was never on his mind while playing in high school - he's determined not let anything distract him at the Olympics.
Ho said he won't even consider catching a screening of much-anticipated The Dark Knight Rises until he's done at the games.
"As long as I have matches, I'm focused on getting the job done."