Swimming in the 2020 Olympics wasn’t always necessarily Ho’s goal because as he said, “I’m a pretty realistic person.” After many years of competitive swimming as a child and a teenager, Ho joined the Virginia Tech swim and dive team as a walk-on member in 2015. He eventually earned a scholarship and went on to set school records in the 50 freestyle and the 200 medley relay events.
After breaking the Hong Kong record in 2019 in the 50-freestyle race and qualifying for the Representing Hong Kong, where he has been living and training for over a year, is particularly special to Ho.
“I feel incredibly grateful to be able to have the opportunity to compete for Hong Kong,” he said. “Being able to represent my parents’ home country while having the support from all my relatives in Hong Kong is truly an honor.”
Education has been important to Ho as well. After just two years of high school, he opted to get his GED and start college. He decided to take classes at NRCC where his father, Caisy Ho, is a physics professor.
“New River to me was a fantastic stepping stone to Virginia Tech. The classes offered provided me with a good basis of understanding allowing my transition to Tech to be a smooth one,” Ho said.
After completing an associate degree in engineering at NRCC in 2015, he transferred to Virginia
Tech where he went on to graduate with the highest honors. Ho is now pursuing his graduate studies there and is considering a Ph.D. program in mechanical engineering.
Swimming and education aren’t Ho’s only interests, though. His skill set ranges from playing beach volleyball and chess to learning the guitar; he even tried out horse vaulting and gymnastics as a child. Ho is also an accomplished violinist who has performed with an orchestra at the Kennedy Center.
But right now, swimming is his focus for Ho. To prepare for the Olympics competition, he trained from four to six hours a day, six days a week, taking only Sundays off for recovery. He trained with the Hong Kong national team after training under Sergio Lopez with Pinnacle Racing at Virginia Tech.
“When I started swimming, I never thought I’d ever go to the Olympics,” Ho said. “I only really started improving when I was in college at Virginia Tech. It’s so surreal to think that I’m now an Olympian. I’m incredibly grateful to all my family and friends who helped me along the way.”
The Olympic Opening Ceremonies were held Friday, July 23.