Four time table-tennis Olympian Miao Miao has been inducted into Victoria University’s Hall of Fame.
Ms Miao said it was an unexpected honour. “I was surprised when I got the call, but very excited at the same time.”
Ms Miao was a quarter finalist at the Sydney Olympics, before going on to compete at the Athens, Beijing and London Games.
She represented Australia at five Commonwealth Games, taking home two silver and three bronze medals.
But with eyes on her future, Ms Miao returned to university, studying a VU Diploma of Sport Development.
“I wanted to study and understand the sporting-field in Australia compared to China and Europe.
“I also wanted to challenge myself because I have much admiration for the way Australians can balance both sport and study at the same time.
“I got a lot of practical experience at VU, a lot of support from teachers, and made a lot of great friends,” Ms Miao said.
Competitor turned coach
Miao stopped competing after the 2018 Commonwealth Games so she could concentrate on coaching, but hasn't ruled out competing again in the future.
“I began Miao’s Table Tennis Academy at the end of 2018, with a particular focus on juniors and player development,” she said.
“I’m even coaching my four-year-old-daughter.
“She’s very good, but at her age I just want it to be fun, that’s the most important part.”
Ms Miao is also lending her skills to helping the Australian Paralympic table tennis team prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
“I love coaching. My Dad was a professional coach, and so I always wanted to do the same.
“I just really enjoy helping players get better and I may think about competing again in the future in order to further encourage our young players.
“In the end, I just really enjoy helping players to improve and support them to achieve their goals.”
Miao joins an esteemed list of sporting greats already inducted into VU’s Sport Hall of fame.