In this Wall Street Journal article on how Chinese immigrants dominate the U.S. national ping-pong team (and not just the U.S.), there’s this interesting graf:
Homes in Canada and the U.S. are often large enough for a ping-pong table in the basement or garage, which means children here are exposed to table tennis informally. In Europe and Asia, home to the best players competing in lucrative professional leagues, generally smaller living spaces mean children must play at a sports club, where there are organized teams and training.
Makes sense — all my American friends and I grew up playing ping-pong in the backyard or in the attic or at summer camp. This type of casual play probably screws up your form at an early age.
For those new to this blog, I love ping pong. Related links:
- Smack talking before my ping pong match against Jonah Spear. Pretty funny email exchange.
- Here’s David Cohen analyzing my ping pong strengths and weaknesses. He calls me "mentally tough" and says, "Playing against Ben is tough because he can reach literally anything."
- Here’s my travel blog post on trying desperately to play a match in China, but shockingly not finding an opponent or table.
- Here’s the recent NYT piece on how ping pong makes you smarter.