At just 16, U.S. table tennis player Ariel Hsing has already made her Olympic debut a smash success. After winning her first two matches, she just narrowly lost to China's Li Xiaoxia, the second-seeded player in the tournament. Despite the near upset, Hsing is only ranked number 115 in the world, according to the New York Times.
She matched Xiaoxia shot for shot until the 24-year-old just barely won. In the best-of-seven match, the scores were 11-4, 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, the Associated Press reports.
"This was my third match and I just really went for it. I really wanted this match. I learned I just need to go for my shots," Hsing told ESPN. "If I just let go and play the way I should play, them I'm pretty close with her [Li]."
Her efforts did not go unnoticed. Fan and friend "Uncle Bill" -- that's Bill Gates to the rest of us -- watched proudly from the bleachers. "Nothing short of phenomenal," he said after the game.
Hsing's table tennis career is wrapped up in a precarious deal she struck with her parents: If her grades slip below straight A's, the sport will be withheld. With the 2016 Olympics weighing on her mind as a real possibility, the rising high school senior will soon be forced to choose between attending college immediately following high school or postponing to focus on her athletic career.
Fellow teen Olympian Jordyn Wieber also made unexpected headlines this weekend. In a shocking turn of events, the 17-year-old defending world champion gymnast will miss the all-around final, after placing behind teammates Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman during the preliminary event. Despite ranking third overall, she will not advance to the all-around competition due to the Olympic Committee's rule that only two gymnasts per country may compete.
Did you catch Hsing's match on TV? Which sports are you following in the 2012 games? Let us know in the comments below or tweet @HuffPostTeen!
Lee Kiefer: Fencing
18-year-old Lee Kiefer comes from a <a href="http://www.indystar.com/article/20120725/SPORTS/207260338/Family-fuels-U-S-fencer-Lee-Kiefer-s-fire" target="_hplink">family of fencers</a>. Three days after coming home from London, Kiefer will head to <a href="http://www.indystar.com/article/20120725/SPORTS/207260338/Family-fuels-U-S-fencer-Lee-Kiefer-s-fire" target="_hplink">Notre Dame</a>, where she will be a freshman.
Alexander Massialas: Fencing
Alexander Massialas was born to be an Olympic fencer -- his father Greg is a two-time medalist. But he's a star in his own right, making the 2012 team <a href="http://www.mercurynews.com/other-sports/ci_21129851/san-francisco-teen-alexander-massialas-makes-mark-u" target="_hplink">against odds</a>. This fall, he will start his freshman year at Stanford University.
Ariel Hsing: Table Tennis
16-year-old Ariel Hsing is your typical teenager. She likes Katy Perry and roots for Michael Phelps. But she's far from boring: She's played table tennis <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/US/ariel-hsing-16-aims-table-tennis-history-london/story?id=16852995#.UBGC9TFYsc8" target="_hplink">against Warren Buffet and Bill Gates</a>, and hopes to win the US a medal in table tennis for the first time in Olympic history.
Lily Zhang: Table Tennis
When 16-year-old Lily Zhang qualified for the US table tennis Olympic team, she told the<em> <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Palo-Alto-s-Lily-Zhang-is-table-tennis-Olympian-3501884.php" target="_hplink">San Francisco Chronicle</a></em>, "I've been waiting for this opportunity for so long. It's been my dream ever since I was a little kid."
Erica Wu: Table Tennis
16-year-old Erica Wu has been training in table tennis since she was a toddler. This year, her dreams will pay off. She told <a href="http://msn.foxsports.com/olympics/table-tennis/story/Wu-ahead-of-schedule-for-Olympic-table-tennis-spot-060812" target="_hplink">FOX News</a> that she's most excited about competing, the Opening Ceremony, and meeting her favorite athletes, Michael Phelps and Kobe Bryant.
Claressa Shields: Boxing
17-year-old Claressa Shields caught the boxing bug at age nine when she saw her father in the ring. <a href="http://espn.go.com/high-school/girl/story/_/id/7899778/claressa-shields-hopes-make-us-women-boxing-team" target="_hplink">He told her</a> the sport was for boys, but <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/athletes/100-hopefuls/Claressa Shields/54814464/1?loc=interstitialskip" target="_hplink">her grandmother</a> encouraged her to stick with it. This year is the first Olympics in which women will be able to earn boxing medals, and Shields has a shot; she's currently <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/athletes/100-hopefuls/Claressa Shields/54814464/1?loc=interstitialskip" target="_hplink">number one</a> in the nation.
Savannah Vinsant: Trampoline
Double-twisting double somersault? Not a big deal for 19-year-old Savannah Vinsant. Upon making the Olympic team, she told <a href="http://usagym.org/pages/post.html?PostID=10372&prog=tt" target="_hplink">USA Gym</a>,"I'm speechless -- I have no words for it."
Maggie Steffens: Water Polo
19-year-old Maggie Steffens, left, has a spot on the women's water polo team alongside her older sister Jessica, right. There will be no shortage of support for Steffens and the rest of the team -- <a href="http://www.nbcnewyork.com/blogs/1st-look/Olympic-Athlete-Profile-Maggie-Steffens-US-Womens-Water-Polo-162882676.html" target="_hplink">according to NBC New York</a>, all 45 of her cousins will make the trip to London to watch her play!
Reed Kessler: Equestrian
The stars aligned for Kessler to have a spot on the Olympic team: The sport requires competitors to be at least 18 and five feet tall; <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/sports/olympics/reed-kessler-faces-trials-for-olympic-show-jumping.html" target="_hplink">Kessler turned 18 just 18 days before competition and only passed the height requirement this year. </a> According to the <em><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/sports/olympics/reed-kessler-faces-trials-for-olympic-show-jumping.html" target="_hplink">New York Times</a></em>, she could be the youngest show-jumper in Olympic history.
Alejandra Valencia: Archery
17-year-old Alejandra Valencia found archery <a href="http://espn.go.com/blog/olympics/post/_/id/2155/unlikely-career-of-alejandra-valencia" target="_hplink">frustrating</a> at first; now, she's the second best archer in Mexico.