If you have ever watched the Olympics, you may have noticed that not nearly all sports get to participate in it. What makes table tennis to be one of the lucky sports, and how did it happen? That’s a valid question.
This article will teach you everything about why ping pong is an Olympic sport, how it became one, and some additional knowledge about table tennis and the Olympics. But first, why is table tennis in the Olympics?
Table tennis is an Olympic sport because it is widely practiced worldwide, and International Table Tennis Federation represents it. Table tennis became an Olympic sport in 1988 when it was included in Seoul, South Korea, after decades of debate whether it should be one or not.
Ping pong is one of the world’s most-played sports, with 300 million worldwide players and 900 million worldwide fans. Therefore it is only natural for it to get a place in the Olympics.
As we look at those numbers, it’s crazy how some people think like ”table tennis”; who even plays that? And I have to admit, when I was first introduced to table tennis many years ago, I was shocked to hear that it really is one of the most played sports in the world.
Anyways, as it is good to know why is table tennis an Olympic sport, it’s equally important to know how it came to be and why it was granted the Olympic status as late as 1988, while the Olympics has been held as long as table tennis has been a thing. Let’s dive deeper.
- How did table tennis become an Olympic sport
- How many competitors does each country play in the table tennis Olympics
- What country has won the most gold medals in ping pong
- Who is the youngest Olympic table tennis medalists
- How many medals does China have in table tennis
- What country is table tennis most popular in
- My Favorite Table Tennis Equipment
How did table tennis become an Olympic sport
The road of table tennis to an Olympic sport is a long and rocky discussion, but eventually, it did get its place. Let’s take a look at how that happened.
So the International Table Tennis association proposed that table tennis would join the Berlin Olympics in 1936; however, it wasn’t approved.
After the rejection, countries such as Japan, Yugoslavia, Germany, and others wanted table tennis to join the 1940 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. However, the required steps didn’t take place, and when the Second World War started in 1939, the efforts stopped, and the 1944 Olympics in London were canceled because of World War 2.
London Olympics were held 4 years later in 1948. In the meantime, many countries debated whether table tennis should join the Olympics because there were already so many sports participating and whether table tennis would join the summer or winter Olympics. Still, no real progress was made in time. Therefore, London Olympics was held without table tennis.
After this, decades went by without nearly any progress and little activity on behalf of table tennis in the Olympics, so time passed by. However, in 1979 some progress was made. The Olympic organization of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics reported to the International Table Tennis Federation that table tennis could participate in the 1984 Olympics as a demonstration sport. However, this never happened.
After all that happened and the long discussions, International Table Tennis Federation defined an amateur and professional status of the sport, and in 1985 the decision was made that table tennis would join in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. As of then, we have seen table tennis in a big part of every Summer Olympics since.
I do love the story of the long journey of table tennis to an Olympic sport. There are many more things that I want you to know about table tennis in the Olympics so let’s see what else there is to learn.
How many competitors does each country play in the table tennis Olympics
Each country can send two athletes to compete from the three medals in the Olympics. The previous number of players was three; however, the rules were changed in 2012 because of China’s superior dominance. This makes it such that no one country can win all three medals from a single sport.
What country has won the most gold medals in ping pong
China has won the most gold medals in table tennis by far, and it’s currently holding 28 of them. The next country that holds the most gold medals in South Korea with 3 medals, and Sweden with one medal. Other than that, no other country possesses gold medals from table tennis.
Who is the youngest Olympic table tennis medalists
The youngest Olympic table tennis medalist is Mima Ito. She won a bronze medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The day Mima Ito won the bronze medal for she’s home country Japan, she was only 15 years and 300 days old.
How many medals does China have in table tennis
China is the superior country in table tennis by far. China has a total of 53 Olympic meals which from 28 are gold medals, 17 are silver medals, and 8 are bronze medals. Only 4 gold medals have been earned by another country where South Korea holds three and Sweden one.
What country is table tennis most popular in
Table tennis in terms of players and fans is the most popular in China. This is known to all table tennis enthusiasts, which is why China holds 28 of the total 32 gold medals awarded in the Olympics.
My Favorite Table Tennis Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Here you can find my preferred table tennis equipment that I believe you could benefit too!
- Racket: My favorite racket choice is the beautiful Killerspin Jet800 because it fits my offensive and speed-focused playstyle. The two carbon layers, 2.1mm sponge, and 190g weight makes this racket powerful.
- Ping Pong Balls: New technology and design have made the JOOLA Flash Seamless 3-Star Balls stand out from the other balls. These balls are seamless, meaning they are more durable than any ball with a seam! Even when these balls come at a higher price, they will pay themselves quickly. As a bonus, the design makes me excited!
- Table Tennis shoes: The famous Butterfly Lezoline Rifones is my choice as it is for many others because they are designed specifically for table tennis standards. I like the excellent support, comfortable cushioning, and lightweight sole with great traction, which gets you exploding fast to whatever direction you need to.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.
One thing is certain with table tennis: it has a rich and rocky road to becoming an Olympic sport. Even when it is decades that table tennis has been part of the Olympics, it has only been through 9 Olympics, and the next one in Paris, France, will be the tenth game of table tennis.
I hope that this article was to your satisfaction and you learned some new things about table tennis as a sport, and how it connects with the Summer Olympic Games.