Warren Buffett Sends Another Athlete To The Olympics


As some of you may recall, back in 2007, Warren Buffett told Berkshire Hathaway shareholders that they were in for a big treat at the company's annual meeting-- the opportunity to play an 11 year-old girl, Ariel Hsing, in table tennis. Buffett met Hsing when she was 9 and after having his ass handed to him at the table, decided she'd make for great entertainment in Omaha. At the time, Hsing was ranked number one among girls under 16 in the US and now, thanks to what we choose to believe was some Bela Karolyi-esque grooming on Buffett's part, she's hit it big.

At 16, she is America's top-ranked under-18 player and No. 2 overall. Two weeks ago, she won a spot on the U.S. Olympic table-tennis team. At the Berkshire bash in Omaha this weekend, shareholders will have a chance to challenge her. "She's a killer," says Buffett, a ping-pong enthusiast who first met Hsing when she was 9. "I knew right away she had the potential to be great because she had this determination. There was no doubt in my mind she was going to put in the hours."


No shareholders succeeded [at beating Ariel], including Microsoft founder Bill Gates. So enthusiastic a ping-pong player that at home he plays against an automatic serving machine, Gates squared off against Ariel and got trounced, says Buffett, adding that "his manhood got challenged." A spokeswoman for Gates said he was unavailable for comment but passed along his admiration for Ariel...A high-school junior, Ariel has maintained stellar grades while pursuing a spot in the Olympics, a dream she shares with many, including the Omaha admirer whom she calls "Uncle Warren." In a note to her last September, Buffett wrote, "I will come watch you in the Olympics—whether 2012 or 2016."

"The Olympics" as in the real Olympics, in case anyone was wondering.

Warren Buffett's Olympic Discovery [WSJ]


Former Berkshire Hathaway Executive Has Only The Nicest Things To Say About Warren Buffett

On March 30, 2011, Warren Buffett penned an open letter expressing support for his former lieutenant, David Sokol, whose trading activities had been called into question. "Neither Dave nor I feel his Lubrizol purchases were in any way unlawful," Buffett wrote. Then, a month later, he told shareholders and reporters gathered at the BKR annual meeting in Omaha that, actually, Sokol was a degenerate bum; a piece of garbage that needed to be taken out, lest it stink up the place. (Actual words: "inexcusable," "inexplicable," in violation of "the company's insider-trading rules and code of ethics." Buffett added that Berkshire "had turned over some very damning evidence" re: Sokol to the Securities and Exchange Commission, to boot.) Though Sokol did not publicly respond to the comments at the time, they presumably stung quite a bit, since having your unassailable ex-boss basically call you a lowlife does not do wonders for the reputation. Now, a year later, after being informed that the SEC would not be taking action against him, is he in a Zen place about life in general and Buffett's words specifically? Are the two men cool? Could Sokol see them being friends again one day? At the very least, is he ready to laugh about them? Yes, yes he is.