My father was an engineer, scientist, and average level tournament player who fell in love with the sport. At the age of 6, when I couldn’t see over the table, he built me a table 2/3rds the exact dimensions so I can develop basic technique. He hired professional coaches and the intense training regimen began. I’m convinced this was his science project.
As part of my training, I ran a full marathon at nine years old and traveled to Sweden to watch the world championships – my first exposure to real professionals. I went on to spend 10 years on the US national team competing in 6 world championships, 3 Pan-American games and winning the US championship 3 times and ultimately becoming inducted into the USA table tennis Hall of Fame. I’d say his science project was a success.