American “ping pong” legend Dan Seemiller hopes for 2020 Summer Olympics

The air-bending serves, the deep volleys and the overhead smash — it is table tennis on the highest degree. The flurry of motion all performs out on a 9-foot-by-5-foot table. And one prime participant is aiming for an additional triumph at an age when most athletes are lengthy retired.

Olympic-caliber athletes in peak kind are normally beneath age 30. Dan Seemiller is nowhere close to that age. He is sufficiently old to be an Olympian’s grandfather. However we realized that age is only a quantity for the 65-year-old, stories CBS Information correspondent Omar Villafranca. 

Seemiller is a stud in American table tennis. He turned professional at 18 and have become the No. 1 ranked American participant. His triumphs have been featured twice in Sports activities Illustrated and he shocked the world in 1977 when he teamed up together with his brother, Rick, and defeated the No. 1 ranked Chinese language group. He coached two males’s U.S. nationwide groups on the 2000 and 2004 Olympics. He is been within the USA Desk Tennis Corridor of Fame since 1995.

“Are you the LeBron James of American table tennis?” Villafranca requested.

“Effectively, I do not know. As a child after I was coaching, I used to assume that after I’m completed I wish to be referred to as the best American participant ever,” Seemiller stated.

“You assume you might be?”

“Effectively, that is not for me to say, however my resume is fairly robust,” Seemiller stated.
As an alternative of retiring, he is trying so as to add yet one more spotlight to his resume: Olympic athlete on the 2020 Summer season Video games in Tokyo.

Table tennis legend vs. Omar Villafranca


For Seemiller, the highway to Tokyo begins in New Carlisle, Indiana. Each morning begins with a exercise. He is consuming proper and getting again into enjoying form.

When he isn’t engaged on his recreation, he is a world-class coach, internet hosting clinics and working a aggressive table tennis membership. His associates and followers have arrange a GoFundMe page as a result of coaching full time is dear. There are journey prices, event charges — and even the coach wants a coach.

The lefty has a secret weapon. He performs with an old-school grip on the paddle that might give him the higher hand on the competitors.
“My grip is exclusive as a result of I’m utilizing forehand purple facet and after I go over, I flip and nonetheless use the purple facet,” Seemiller stated.

It is recognized in table tennis because the Seemiller Grip. Sure, he invented and perfected it a long time in the past. However nobody makes use of it anymore. So he is banking on it to shock his opponents.
On the 2019 U.S. Open Desk Tennis Championships in Fort Price, Texas, he performed nicely, beating opponents greater than 40 years youthful than him, like 22-year-old Deven Deleon.

“To have the ability to play towards such a legend particularly in Unites States table tennis is a good honor and I do not really feel any disgrace in being beat by any person so good,” Deleon stated. “That serve he is received is loopy.”
“Now I am 65 and I am coaching actually laborious and I do not know the place it is gonna go, however my spouse says, she says she is aware of I can do it, so who is aware of?” Seemiller stated.

He isn’t simply doing it for himself.

“It is for everyone and it is also that anybody that is older, you realize, that in case you actually focus in your methods and also you imagine in your self you are able to do nice in any sport,” Seemiller stated.

As for his Olympic desires, there’s one spot left on the boys’s U.S. Olympic table tennis group, and he has to earn it on the Olympic qualifying event in late February.

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