30 Under 30: Andre Ho
High school: H.J. Cambie
Few stages are any bigger than the Olympics, and the fact Richmond’s Andre Ho qualified for the Games on his first attempt speaks volumes about his maturity and talent.
Though he was the fifth-ranked men’s singles player in Canada last year, Ho realized before heading to London for the 2012 Summer Games that he’d be a major underdog. He would be facing not only the best players in the world but, in many instances, opponents with significantly more experience. His goal was to advance as far in the table tennis tournament as possible, but realistically simply to learn.
Ho was introduced to table tennis by his dad Simpson, when the pair played the game recreationally at home. But when his parents (mom Amelia is the president of the B.C. Table Tennis Association) opened the Bridgeport Sports Club in 1998, his talent quickly came to the forefront. In 1999, he entered the national championships and won four gold medals at the under-10 age group.
Ho then climbed quickly up the Canadian rankings and was the under-18 boys’ singles champion at the 2007 Canada Winter Games. A year later he won the North American title and was runner-up on the under-18 world junior circuit at the Canada junior open. He also gained valuable international experience playing in four world junior championships, but it wasn’t until early in 2012 that he won his first North American open honour, becoming the first men’s singles qualifier at the North American Olympic qualification tournament. As a result, he became the youngest Canadian table tennis athlete to compete in the men’s singles event in Olympic history.
Inspiration? “I’m inspired by different things and people everyday, but overall I’m inspired to do the best I can at what it is I want to achieve.”
Most proud of? “Being able to represent Canada in the biggest Games there is—London Olympics 2012.”
Advice? “Talent alone will only get you to a certain point, but hard work can lead you to limitless potential.”
What do you enjoy doing in your free time? “I like to be outdoors a lot. Watching movies is something I like to do.”