March 20, 2018

Doctors Over 2000
At the 1995 U.S. Nationals in Las Vegas, a player suffered a massive heart attack while playing. I was standing nearby when it happened, and was amazed at the response. Within minutes, he was surrounded by seven doctors and two nurses, all of them players or attendees at the Nationals. The patient survived. So now you know you are safe if you have a medical emergency at a big tournament! Here is a list of the doctors and nurses who saved the player:

  • Dr. Mark Schaffner
  • Dr. Robert Ho
  • Dr. Jiing Wang
  • Dr. Donald Geeze
  • Dr. Grady Gordon
  • Dr. Richard Poole
  • Dr. Michael Scott
  • Nurse Grace Matossian
  • Nurse Mary An Geeze

So there are a lot of doctors who play table tennis. But how many have reached a high level of play, such as over 2000? I'm going to include anyone who is a medical professional referred to as "Dr." (So this includes dentists, and other titles, such as a DPM (Doctor of Podiatric Medicine.) I put together a preliminary list of all I could think of, and then asked the question on Facebook on Saturday, and here is the alphabetical list I came up with, with a few notes on some of them. I'm sure there are more, so feel free to post any I missed in comments, and I'll add them to the list. I'm guessing there are a number of former junior stars who went on to be doctors, such as the three listed below from my club (Chris Ko, Vivian Lee, Jessica Shen). I know of other former junior players who went on to become doctors, but they didn't achieve a 2000 rating.

  • Tommy An - former junior star.
  • Donald Geeze - one of the doctors in the story above.
  • Grady Gordon (RIP) - one of the doctors in the story above.
  • Steve Horowitz - famed cardiologist, here's his bio.
  • Dennis Hwang - member of the Resident Training Program for Table Tennis at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs in the late 1980s, graduated as class valedictorian while training three hours/day. Now a pulmonologist.
  • Chris Ko - former junior star from Maryland Table Tennis Center, author of the book The Ping Pong Diet.
  • Mike Lardon - sports psychologist and former junior star from the late 1970s, made the finals of Under 18 at the Nationals, wrote the book, Finding Your Zone: Ten Core Lessons for Achieving Peak Performance in Sports and Life.
  • Tuan Le - has been rated as high as 2434, very active in California tournaments.
  • Vivian Lee - former junior star from Maryland Table Tennis Center.
  • Rick Mueller - star dentist and chopper.
  • Gary Osmanoff - star dentist.
  • Jessica Shen - former junior star from Maryland Table Tennis Center, has her offices right down the street from my house.
  • De Tran - I believe the only doctor to also have made the U.S. National Team, he has been rated as high as 2573, making him the highest rated on this list.
  • Marius Wechsler - Pediatrics expert who has been rated as high as 2182.
  • Norman Yeh - former pips-out penhold junior star.

USATT Hall of Fame
I adapted my blog last Friday on the USATT Hall of Fame into this USATT news item, which they just published.

2018 US Youth National Ranking Tournament
Here's the article by USATT High Performance Director Jörg Bitzigeio, on the event to be held Sept. 27-30 in Sacramento, CA.

Defenders – Deceive or Die
Here's the article from Table Tennis Spot.

Cary Cup – Unique for Seventeen Years
Here's the article by Steve Hopkins.

Wilmington Table Tennis’ Southeastern Sportsman of the Decade
Here's the article by Steve Hopkins.

History of USATT – Volume XX – Chapter 20
Here’s chapter 20 of Tim Boggan’s latest volume, which covers 1993-1994. Or you can buy it and previous volumes at Chapter 20 covers "Jan/Feb 1994 - Off Court Views."

Interview with Indian Star Sathiyan Gnanasekaran
Here's the interview with the world #49.

Nittaku ITTF Monthly Pongcast - February 2018
Here's the video (23:25).

Moose Playing Table Tennis Phone Case
Here it is!

The Table Tennis of Ageha
Here's the Manga comic! (It says "To be continued" at the end, but I can't find the next segment.)

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