I began by picking up balls for my sister’s multi-ball practice.

Jessie recalls well how her table tennis career began. Joy, Jessie’s sister, was one of Ontario’s hopes at the moment (players under 12 years old). She was most likely the most talented girl at the time. Today, she studies business and is open about her admiration for Jessie’s table tennis accomplishments. Meanwhile, Jessie made incredible improvement. She began her training at the Elite Table Tennis Training Center in Mississauga.

“I’ve been playing table tennis with Raymond Zhang as my head coach since I was five years old, first at Elite TTC and now at Three10 TTC. When I initially started playing, I had to stand on a box because I was too short to reach the table.”

After that, everything appears to be a success. Jessie competed in her first competition when she was seven years old. She won U11 and U13 2017 Ontario Championships at the age of 9. Following year Jessie made her international debut at the Canadian Junior, Cadet Open, and North American Hopes Challenge in Toronto.

Jimmy, Jessie’s ever-supportive father, keeps a close eye on her progress and speaks proudly of Jessie’s accomplishments: “Jessie has won about 30 gold medals in events to date, including eight from the Ontario Championships, five from the Canadian Championships, and one from the 2022 US Open. Her best international results were a second-place finish for the U15 Girl Team at the 2021 Pan American Junior Championship and a quarterfinalist in the U19 Girl’s Single at the 2022 Pan American Junior Championship.”

This lovely story, however, appears to be different from Jessie’s perspective:

“To be honest, I had a tough upbringing, particularly between the ages of 9 and 12

…when I competed in multiple tournaments while feeling enormous pressure to perform. For a long time, I despised competitions. I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to sleep and that my hands would get numb. Raymond was extremely demanding and difficult. I didn’t comprehend the need for such strict practice and approach at the time.”

The successful table tennis path hasn’t altered much in the last three years, but Jessies practice and competition experience has shifted 180 degrees. While Jessie’s maturity did not come easily, she now understands the toughness she encountered and is grateful to her coach, family and teammates from Three10 TTC.

“Fortunately, I got through it and became more resilient…

…both psychologically and physically. Now I like all sorts of competition, including travelling around the world to compete. It is an honor for me to be able to represent Team Canada. The Canada Winter Games are the next big event for me; I am ecstatic and grateful for the opportunity, and I can’t wait to represent Team Ontario and give it my all.”

As of Week 1 of 2023, Jessie is rated 48th on the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Under 15 Girls World Ranking List. It is Canada’s top ranking for youth. Among seniors, Mo Zhang is ranked 47th, while Eugene Wang is ranked 55th. While the road to catching up with Mo and Eugene is long and difficult, Jessie knows what mentality to adopt:

“Just play your game, without any regrets,” like my coach advised, “and have fun.”

“Just play your game, without any regrets,” like my coach advised, “and have fun.”

Jessie has been named the top table tennis athlete in Ontario for 2022.