Summer vacation is usually a favourite time for teenagers. They can go travelling, or they can stay in Hong Kong, hang out with friends and enjoy the sunshine and beaches. But Stephanie Au Hoi-shun prefers to concentrate on swimming. At only 16 years old, Stephanie is the youngest member of the Hong Kong Olympic squad taking part in the Beijing Olympics. She started training as a competitive swimmer when she was nine years old. Since then, she has won several swimming competitions. Last year, her coach advised her to put off her studies for a while in order to focus on her training. Stephanie was unsure what to do. 'I struggled a lot at that time. I didn't want my studies to suffer because of swimming,' she says. She decided to focus on her training when she qualified for the Olympics last September. 'Qualifying boosted my confidence. My parents supported me deferring my studies and I started full-time training.' She qualified for the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle swimming events in Beijing. As the current Hong Kong record holder for the three events, she is ambitious. 'I believe I can do much better than just participating in the Olympics. I hope I can set new Hong Kong records in the Water Cube,' she says. Despite her impressive sporting achievements, Stephanie says she is a normal teenage girl who loves shopping and hanging out with friends, although she sometimes has to sacrifice her free time for swimming. 'I have to try my best to avoid getting injured or sick. Therefore, I cannot go on a lot of outings with my friends,' she says. 'I'm a bit unhappy about it but my coach is right. All the things I've been doing are leading up to one moment - the Beijing Olympics. Therefore, I have to try my very best to prepare and prevent even a tiny thing from going wrong,' Stephanie says. 'My entertainment in my free time is limited, so I tend to spend time shopping and going to the cinema. I keep in contact with my friends on Facebook and instant messaging. If they want to see me, I usually invite them to my home.' The talented athlete has been asked if she wants to follow in Alex Fong Lik-sun's footsteps and progress from being a swimmer to becoming a pop singer or movie star, but she is not keen. 'I'm not interested in the entertainment industry. I'm an athlete as well as a student. I'll focus on my studies after the Olympics,' she says. Next term, Stephanie plans to return to school and repeat Form Four. 'I'm a bit nervous. I miss school life very much and I'd like to return as soon as possible. However, at the same time, I'm worried about it. 'All my friends have been promoted to Form Five, so I'll be quite lonely in the classroom and I'm afraid I can't catch up with the school work I have missed. 'I'm looking forward to the Olympics, but as soon as I get back from competing in Beijing I plan to meet my friends for a crazy day at Ocean Park.'