Dedication is an attribute that every Olympic athlete needs and Rena Wang is no exception. Having taken the past two years off from school in order to train rigorously in badminton, Wang’s hard work is finally paying off.
While many athletes pick up a sport because of a parent or older sibling, Rena Wang started playing badminton because of her little sister Iris. “It all started when we played backyard badminton with friends and no one would let [Iris] play because “she wasn’t good enough.” After that incident, she asked my parents to get her lessons immediately. After a month, it looked fun and I joined lessons too.” Since then, Wang has excelled in badminton, being the only female player from the U.S. to receive an invitation to this year’s London Olympics.
Wang will represent the U.S. in women’s singles, although she admits that she enjoys playing doubles more. “I think it’s mainly because I love playing with my little sister, Iris…She’s my best friend and we bring out the best in each other.” Wang hopes to make it to the round of top 16 and plans on putting in every ounce of energy she has. She is no stranger to exertion and sacrifice, constantly placing academics and training above her social life. Luckily, Wang has an amazing support group consisting of her family and coaches whom she looks up to as her role models.
For Wang, making the Olympic team is a dream come true. “I’m so humbled to be a part of Team USA and to stand among the world’s most elite athletes. I’m also really excited for the opening ceremony because I won’t have to watch it on TV this year!” An avid basketball fan, Wang also hopes to meet Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, and Dwayne Wade.
In addition to sports, Wang is a foodie with a love for pineapples. She enjoys listening to music and is a fan of the Hunger Games series, especially Catching Fire. While Wang is fully focused on badminton right now, she plans on pursuing medical school with a concentration on pediatrics in the future.