Everyone Loves Table Tennis, right? So, come on out to the UW Health Sports Factory on May 25-27 to try your skills at the game that makes you smile. Enjoy yourselves at the America’s Team Table Tennis Championship as a player or as a spectator.
Activities start on Friday at 6 pm with open play for all and a Celebrity Doubles Challenge beginning at 6:30 pm. The Celebrity Challenge is a fun competition with local celebrities teaming up with tournament players to see who can keep the ping pong bragging rights in the Rockford area for the next 12 months!
There will be rackets and balls to use and a table tennis robot to compete against – yes, you can try to beat the Robopong, invented right here in Rockford, IL! Also, on Friday evening, the elite tournament players will be practicing in preparation for the 9th Annual America’s Team Championship with $10,000 in prizes and awards that begins at 9 am on Saturday with the finals scheduled for 2 pm on Sunday. Spectator admission is free for the entire weekend.
Table tennis is truly a game of diversity. There will be hundreds of players born in 20+ countries, speaking many languages, all ages, all genders, able-bodied & Paralympians, tall & short, all ability levels, competing as equals with the COMMON GOAL of having FUN!
Some of the confirmed athletes and coaches with information from Wikipedia and other sources are:
1) Danny Seemiller began playing table tennis as an early adolescent in the 1960s. By 1972, he was the top player on the U.S. Men's National Team. He has won five United States Men's Singles Championships (1976, 1977, 1980, 1982, and 1983). Seemiller reached #19 in the World Rankings and is considered one of the best table tennis athletes from the United States of all time.
2) Timothy Wang is an American table tennis player. He competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the Men's singles. Wang won men's singles at the 2010 US National Championships and repeated as champion in 2012 and 2013. He also won the national championship in men's doubles in 2011 and 2012 (with Han Xiao) and in mixed doubles in 2011, 2012 and 2013 (with Ariel Hsing). Wang's parents are both immigrants from Taiwan.
3) Ian Seidenfeld from Minnesota is the top Paralympic Class 6 athlete in the USA – and he is still under 20 years-old. He is the son of Mitchell Seidenfeld, a player with a host of titles including gold in Men’s Singles Class 8 at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games; undoubtedly Ian aims to follow father. The teenager has his eyes set on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Ian’s coach is his father Mitchell, who will be at the America’s Team Championship this year as well.
4) Nandan Naresh is the top U12 boy in Illinois and number 2 in the USA. He has been featured on many television shows including Ellen and Little Big Shots. His father Arcot is also competing but on a different team – maybe they have to play each other?!?.
5) Patryk Zyworonek is the top U10 boy in Illinois and number 2 in the USA. He is a fierce competitor and has many wins versus adult tournament players. Patryk is rated higher than every tournament player residing in the Rockford area – including adults – despite his age of nine.
7) Yichi Zhang just completed his computer programming degree on a table tennis scholarship at Mississippi College. Pretty cool that ping pong can get you into college! He currently works for a trucking company in the Chicago area and coaches many of the young athletes including Nandan and Patryk.
6) Gordon Kaye is the CEO of USA Table Tennis and past director of Rockford’s BMO Center and RAVE. He is a seasoned tournament player who now resides in Denver, CO with his wife and two daughters. His favorite past time is to win . . . Good luck with that!
7) Richard Hicks is the 25-time Indiana State Champion and is a favorite to medal in his age group at the upcoming World Veterans Championship next month in Las Vegas – there are 4,000 other competitors at this huge table tennis event!
8) Several Chinese National Coaches that are living and coaching in the USA. Many of them with ratings higher than the USA National Champions.
9) The New Jersey Table Tennis Club, who is returning to capture their fourth Elite Division Championship in a row.
10) Kishwaukee College Table Tennis Team, who is competing in their first ever team competition.
Please contact Ed Hogshead for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.