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Monday, February 8, 2016

The Minimalist Guide to Ping Pong

What Chinese related blog would be complete without the mention of ping pong (also called table tennis). Although this pastime has become synonymous with the Chinese, it was actually invented in England around the 1880s. Even the name, Ping-Pong, seemingly Chinese, is actually an onomatopoeia first trademarked by English manufacturer J. Jacques & Son in 1901. Nonetheless, the Chinese are crazy about this sport and almost every Chinese person I know has played the game. Since its inclusion in the Olympic Games in 1988, the Chinese have dominated this event, winning the most medals in this event and winning gold EVERY Olympics for Women's Singles.

One notable event in the history of ping pong was the Ping Pong Diplomacy. This referred to the invitation of US ping pong players by China to visit China in 1971. This was a monumental event because this US ping pong team became the first Americans to set foot in China since Mao Tse-tung's communist takeover in 1949. Click here to hear first hand about this incident from Zhuang Zedong, one of China's premier ping pong players at that time.

Top 10 Ping Pong Shots of All Time

For you history geeks, you can find a comprehensive history of Ping Pong here at the ITTF Museum.

Play On Players.

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