What is the history of table tennis?
Table tennis is believed to have started in England in the 1880s, where upper-class Victorians played the game as an after-dinner activity. At that time, table tennis was played with whatever equipment could be found—most often a dinner table, books for a net, and a rounded champagne cork for a ball.
The International Table Tennis Federation was founded in 1926 in England. The same year, the first table tennis World Championships were held in London. Since the Championships, the sport has undergone many changes, especially in equipment. Now, table tennis uses lightweight rubber-coated wooden rackets and a celluloid ball.
Currently, there are over 40 million table tennis competitors worldwide and even more recreational players. In fact, table tennis is the sport with the most participants worldwide.
Table Tennis at the Olympic Games
The sport was officially introduced into the Olympic Games during the 1988 Seoul Games, where South Korea won both gold and silver. Since South Korea’s initial Olympic win, China has largely dominated the sport, winning medals in every Olympic Game. China’s Wong Nan is the leader of the women’s Olympic sport, holding 4 gold medals.
What are the current Olympic table tennis events?
The current Olympic table tennis events are singles and team for both men and women.