Within the 1970s, folks known as it Ping Pong diplomacy.
Then President Richard Nixon had visited China, opening the door to talks with the communist nation. A sequence of visits centering round Chinese language Desk Tennis stars was the following step in relations between the 2 international locations.
In a round-about manner, that effort has led to the 2019 Worldwide Ping Pong Match Competition on Labor Day weekend on the Lengthy Seaside Conference Heart.
That competition, in flip, might imply Ping Pong tables throughout Lengthy Seaside and a designation as the primary Ping Pong Pleasant Metropolis, in line with Barry Sedlik, CEO of International Artistic Cities Coalition (GC3), the competition presenter.
“In China, table tennis is the nationwide sport,” Sedlik stated. “They venerate their high stars, and everybody performs. I imply everybody… It’s good for you; hand-eye coordination, cardio and extra. So over time, I believed perhaps we had been lacking one thing within the U.S.”
Sedlik already had ties with China, arranging trip journeys for Chinese language officers and dignitaries. It quickly turned clear that the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda was a most well-liked vacation spot.
And the connection to Ping Pong diplomacy was born.
That, Sedlik stated, led to discussions with a commerce affiliation for sports activities gear producers, then the launch of GC3.
“We goal to make Ping Pong tables out there all through each metropolis in America, identical to each metropolis in China,” Sedlik stated. “We wish folks to know that Ping Pong is a sport for everybody, no matter age, revenue, or bodily skills, and it’s enjoyable.”
One other profit, Sedlik stated, is getting kids away from their electronics and interacting with others. And down the street, a wise cellphone “relationship” app to permit gamers to arrange video games is within the works.
His imaginative and prescient is to search out sponsors to supply Ping Pong tables to cities’ recreation packages, nonprofits together with the YMCA and Boys & Women Golf equipment and extra.
Lengthy Seaside, with its robust ties to China by means of the Lengthy Seaside-Qingdao Affiliation, a sister metropolis group with a protracted historical past of cooperation, is the right place to launch that effort, Sedlik stated.
He added that he had been inspired by preliminary talks with the town and leaders of the native YMCA and Boys & Women Golf equipment. His group created a partnership with the LA Open Desk Tennis Event Affiliation, and timed the primary competition to incorporate the affiliation’s ninth annual championship event. Sedlik stated a few of China’s high gamers, together with Olympic group hopefuls, are anticipated to compete.
The 2-day competition, Saturday, Aug. 31 and Sunday, Sept. 1, shall be free to spectators. It’s going to embody superstar and group Ping Pong tournaments, video games, prizes and cultural shows.
The LA Open additionally shall be on the Conference Heart, and is anticipated to attract as much as 400 of the highest gamers on the planet to compete for the highest U.S. money prizes of the yr. Tickets to that event shall be on sale on the Conference Heart, and vary in price from $20 for a Saturday ticket to $200 for a VIP bundle.
For extra details about the competition, go to pingpongfit.com. For extra concerning the event, go to laopentt.com.