Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympic Ping Pong…. Thank you China (and Poland needs more press)

Now, I know the modern world is one where people move from country to country pretty often (myself included) and I have no doubt whatsoever that  that these competitors all follow the correct rules to represent their countries, but I still find it amusing when I see images like this;


Asians, specifically Chinese really dominate table tennis.  I don’t think this is a stunning insight, but its pretty interesting to have a look at the roster of competitors to see just how many countries have Chinese born Ping Pongers representing them at the games.  I did include anyone with a Chinese looking name, and was not surprised that countries with a heavy immigrant population such as the USA or Canada happened to have native citizens of a Chinese background playing.  However, the majority of Chinese born competitors in this event at the Olympics do play for countries other than China.

So, I would say an outstanding word of thanks should go out to China for supplying the bulk to the worlds table tennis elite caliber talent. (all images from the Olympics official website with annotations by me.)

yuan tian - croatia
Li Quangbing - Austria
lily zhang - USA
Ariel Hsing - USA
caroline Kumahara - Brazil

Then there is also…
Xue Li – France (born in China)
Jiao Li – Netherlands (born in China)
Jie Li – Netherlands (born in China)
Melek Hu – Turkey (born in China)
Xing Han – Congo (born in Congo)
Lei Huang Mendes – Portugal (born in China)
Jian Fang Lay – Australia (born in China)
Weixing Chen – Austria (born in Mongolia)Zhiwen He – Spain (born in China)Justin Han – Australia (born in China)Miao Miao – Australia (born in China)
Qian Li – Poland (born in China)
Jia Liu – Austria (born in China)
Na Liu – Great Britain (born in China)

One more thing…. Leading up to the Olympics, I have see a lot of big press and news stories around the South African runner Oscar Pistorius, who will be the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics.  I saw many many stories about him in the lead up to the games and I think it is great that he is able to compete at this level. 

However, I did not see any stories about Natalia Partyka, another athlete who will compete in both the Olympics and Paralympics.  In fact, this is the SECOND time she has done so, competing as well in the 2008 games.  Natalia won her way through to the third round of women’s singles where she was eliminated by Li Jie (NED)  More press for please, she is awesome.

I also thought it was interesting to read that Oscar Pistorious is not only the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics, but his compatriot Natalie du Toit was the first athlete to compete in both the Paralympics and Olympics (Swimming 2008.)  It seems that South Africa has a good history of inclusion for athletes.
Natalia partyka - poland

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