Soo Yeon Lee is an international table tennis champion, a fashion model, and an actress. Her combination of talent and personality have branded her as the new face of contemporary ping pong around the world, which has also led to her role as an official ambassador of SPIN.
Born in Busan, South Korea, and trained under Olympic Gold Medalist Jung Hwa Hyun, she is a 6-time Korean National Junior Champion, a 2-time Korean National Champion, and has won the US Table Tennis Open.
You can find her on Instagram @PingPongGirl and on past episodes of Entourage where she played John Stamos’ ping pong trainer.
When and why did you start playing ping pong?
I started playing ping pong when I was 9 years old in my elementary school.
I went to the ping pong class with friends just for fun but my teachers noticed that I had a very strong natural ability and that is how I got recruited to train for the professional team.
What has ping pong taught you the most?
The number one thing I have learned in my ping pong career is discipline, commitment, and strong mental training. I had to first learn how to deal with the emotional effects of failing before I learned how to become a winner. It also taught me to never give up if I believe in something.
Where do you see ping pong going?
I feel like ping pong is the sexy and trendy new sport of the future. It is the only all-inclusive sport that can be played by everyone from age 5 to 95 in different settings.
What do you love most about ping pong?
My favorite part about ping pong is connecting with people and seeing them enjoying the sport as much as I do.