12-year- old Hend Zaza from Syria made her debut in the Toyko Olympics this year. Zaza is a table tennis player and in order to make it into the Olympics, Zaza played a woman more than three times her age at the women’s singles preliminary round. She beat a 42-year-old Lebanese player when she was 11.
Her future is bright, but unfortunately now is not her time as she was knocked out of the competition by 39-year-old Austrian player Liu Jia. After her loss, Zaza had a message to share; “For the last five years I’ve been through many different experiences, especially when there was the war happening around the country, with the postponement with funding for the Olympics, and it was very tough. But I had to fight for it and this is my message to everyone who wishes to have the same situation. Fight for your dreams, try-hard, regardless of the difficulties that you’re having, and you will reach your goal.”