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Erica Wu is a 16-year-old, straight-A student on her way to the London Olympics with her childhood friends and table tennis teammates. Conan Nolan reports from Arcadia for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 18, 2012.
The demands of a fast-paced sport like table tennis leave Westridge School student and U.S. Olympic team member Erica Wu without time for excuses.
The 16-year-old Arcadia girl will be a junior in the fall after she competes at the London Olympics in a sport she has played since she first took lessons as a child.
"You're by yourself, and you have to take responsibility for every point," Wu said of table tennis. "It trains me to focus, and how not just to win, but to lose."
Wu's schedule demands she balance studies with her sport. She missed 52 school days when she competed around the world last year, but still maintained a 4.0 GPA by studying and completing homework assignments between matches.
"I don't find it that difficult," said Wu. "It's just I lose a little sleep, and I don't sleep as much as I want to."
Wu, a member at the Gao Jun Table Tennis Club in El Monte, is part of the next generation of U.S. table tennis players. She will be joined in London by California teens Ariel Hsing, of San Jose, and Lily Zhang, of Palo Alto.
Timonth Wang, a 20-year-old from Houston, is the lone male competitor for the U.S. table tennis team.
Wu, Hsing and Zhang won a team bronze at the 2011 Pan American Games. Wu also won the 2011 U.S. doubles championship and lost in the semifinals of the singles event, but qualifying for the Olympics holds a special place on her list of accomplishments.
"Sometimes, it just randomly pops into my head when I'm walking down the street -- you're going to the Olympics," Wu said.