Jan. 13--The sedate air at Friday morning's 2008 U.S Ping pong Olympic and National Team trials within Drexel's Daskalakis Center resembled something you would find at a weekend Biddy Basketball match.
Few audiences beyond officials and family. Not much sound past the click of chunk. And not much fire past the competitors.
Contrast that with all the scenes Bob Fox, U.S. Ping pong' club chief for the 2008 Games, along with his American players struck in China a couple of decades back. There, in the World Championships in Shanghai, scalpers frantically hawked tickets along with sold-out crowds whooped and hollered such as Eagles fans. The games have been televised nationally. And reporters swarmed on the occasion like ants within a diminished picnic ham.
In the Shanghai college where they trained using a legion of young Chinese gamers, the Americans found an equally exotic -- and depressing -- sight. "It was amazing," Fox explained. "They had all these little children who had been good enough to have played [in the trials]. They had five lines of five tables each. There was a trainer for every single line. Everybody was so excellent. Everything was organized."
Speak with anybody accumulated in Philadelphia this week for those trials, which reason now, and they will let you know the exact same thing: The best Chinese dynasty is not Ming, it is ping.
And since the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, at which no more tickets are harder to get than people for ping pong, find out to make clear, the Ping-Pong gap between China and the United States is expanding as the Yangtze River at flood wave. Ping-Pong -- as a U.S. toy maker copyrighted that phrase, it is officially "ping pong" here is China's national game. Its stars have been pop idols, its own rivals the equal of NFL games.
"It is like baseball or soccer or basketball," said Lilly Yip, who played both countries and currently has two kids competing in the trials. "Every elementary school has its tables, its team." Talented kids there are recognized early and fed to national and regional training centers, where they're mentored by groups of trainers, everything paid for by the Chinese authorities.
"Chinese gamers outnumber Americans at least 1,000 to 1, likely more," explained Danny Seemiller, the U.S. men's coach. "In China, it is considered as a game. It's credibility as a game. Here, it is considered as a match, something interesting to do but not actually an athletic contest."
Considering that the game was introduced into the Olympics in 1988 in Seoul, the Chinese have won 16 of the 20 occasions -- such as gold-medal sweeps in 1996 and 2000. The USA, in which the game was popularized, hasn't won a trophy. According to Fox, the Chinese are so profound that in case their best 25 players, people, came to the United States, 24 of these would likely rank at the American high 25. "They can do this with most nations," he explained.
Consequently, it is hardly surprising that, in these trials, a number of the most effective American guys (Xiao Han, Yinghua Cheng, David Zhuang and many others) and girls (Chen Wang, Jiaqi Zheng and Jun Gao, that has made an Olympic berth by virtue of her No. 13 world rank) are from China or will be the kids of Chinese emigres. "It is a part of this culture for its American-born kids of the Chinese," Yip said. "That is the game their parents need them to play with. They can not compete in basketball and tennis with American children, so that they turn to Ping-Pong since it makes them feel as though they are able to do anything."
Even though more and more Chinese are coming back into the United States to reside, people who arrive with world class ping pong abilities are normally older. "Many of these are not over the mountain, but they are not on the upswing either," Seemiller said. "They are still quite great, but they understand their limits. Whereas, if they are coming at 16 or 17, it is another story." Jun Gao, '' America's greatest player along with a silver trophy winner for China in doubles in the 1992 Games, is 38. Her career had stopped when she married an American and immigrated here from the mid-1990s.
"The U.S. wants a system which aids the kids," she explained. "China honors and rewards its finest kids and gives incentives for them to compete. There are great players here. They simply want an incentive." Gao was not unhappy to leave the Chinese group, in which the pressure to succeed can be overpowering. While on the national team, she won four consecutive championships onto a ping pongcircuit that goes across Asia and Eastern Europe. "But she stated that she had been fearful that if she dropped that fifth championship, the Chinese would find someone to replace her," Fox explained. "That is how deep the pool is and just how much strain the athletes feel"
Ping-Pong -- so called on account of the noises that the ball makes as it strikes the rackets -- has been devised by the British over a century ago as a cruise-ship choice to tennis. America picked the game up quickly. Through the 1930s and 1940s, Americans were one of its best players. Somewhere, however, it developed a rec-room standing, something to play at the cellar after Christmas dinner or on rainy Saturdays. As a result, the game is among the deep-pocketed donors frequently found in other small sports, such as squash or field hockey.
U.S. officials also have found sponsors for the balls, the tables along with the paddles (players call them "bats", but the game stays cash-starved. "We struggle for space," said Fox, a Minnesotan and a former national-team participant. "It is a cheap sport, but its one which does not create a good deal of cash. If we are able to begin getting on TV, or getting into schools, things could change. Nonetheless, it is a slow struggle." For a short time, youthful players were developed in the U.S. Olympic Committee's training centre in Colorado Springs, Colo.. Sean Lonergan, a Maryland native competing for a place in the trials went via that program.
"But they began charging us more than we can manage, so it had been canceled," said Fox. "We are working to find out a way to acquire some regional applications began, but it has been real difficult."
So is there some expectation that the equilibrium of Ping-Pong power could ever change from East to West?
Yip states that the tide may be starting to turn. Her coaching centre in Warren, N.J., had no qualified trainers when she transferred from Florida 15 decades back. Currently there are five fulltime coaches. A once-threadbare junior app currently has 30 to 40 assuring players.
Fox is not so convinced. There are not enough qualified trainers, the idea of taking kids from their parents is anathema, and it is hard to conquer the potent American sports tradition.
"In this nation, parents do not wish to give up their children for some thing like this," Fox explained. "They could do it if they believed their child was going to receive a college soccer scholarship or when he seemed like he could be a professional baseball player.
"However, for our game? Not likely."
Je pense que c'est normal que les relations amoureuses soient un peu moins enflammées passé un certain temps, ça n'est pas pour autant qu'elles se terminent. Du coup je ne pense pas qu'espérer que cette relation redevienne exactement comme au début soit une bonne chose, parce que ça n'arrivera pas. Avec le temps la passion s'amenuise (ce qui ne prend pas le même de temps selon les gens, c'est souvent asymétrique) ; on gagne en connaissance de l'autre, mais du coup la vision un peu idéalisée s'efface un peu. Je crois que si tu veux qu'une relation dure, il faut accepter qu'elle change avec le temps.
Sinon, j'ai l'impression que tu idéalises beaucoup ton copain (ce qui est assez naturel au début d'une relation) et que tu te places en situation de dépendance vis-à-vis de lui (quand tu dis que tu l'aimes plus que ta vie, etc). C'est quelque chose de très courant, mais ça te fait souffrir. La possibilité qu'il t'aime un peu moins qu'avant ou qu'il te quitte te fait du mal, alors que ça n'est qu'une possibilité (et du coup tu vois des signes un peu partout alors qu'il n'y a pas forcément de raison de s'alarmer, mais là-dessus lui-seul pourrait te renseigner).
Il est également possible que cette insécurité chez toi (qui donne lieu à la recherche de preuves d'amour) fasse un peu peur à ton copain et que ça renforce son côté "froid", c'est des choses qui arrivent. Mais là j'en sais rien, c'est une piste éventuelle.
Bon, tout ça c'est facile à dire, mais je pense que dans toute relation il faut accepter le risque d'être quitté et ne pas voir ça comme la fin du monde, et plutôt profiter de la relation que de flipper en pensant qu'elle pourrait se terminer (et cette possibilité existe toujours), ou qu'elle est pas exactement comme au début (ce qui est inévitable).
Je crois qu'il faudrait que tu essaie de parler vraiment avec lui ; s'il refuse de communiquer, ou de t'expliquer clairement pourquoi il agit de telle ou telle manière lorsque tu ne le comprends pas, ça risque d'être vraiment problématique à long terme.
Est-ce que tu lui as demandé pourquoi est-ce qu'il a changé d'attitude ? Peut-être qu'il a eu un changement dans ses émotions, ou bien peut-être qu'il avait fait un effort en début de relation pour correspondre à tes attentes (presque tout le monde fait ça, c'est normal), mais qu'il n'arrive plus à faire cet effort car ça l'empêche d'être lui-même. En tout cas la seule solution à mon avis, comme dans tous les couples, c'est la communication (le coeur du couple ! ). Si il refuse de communiquer, c'est patatras. Essaie de te débrouiller le plus finement possible pour obtenir quelques explications, ça peut être un bon début.
Et aussi, n'oublie pas de toujours envisager que la rupture est possible, ou que tu peux te permettre de te faire désirer. Si tu es trop dépendant à lui, tu risques de souffrir lorsqu'il y aura une perturbation dans la relation, en plus de risquer de le faire fuir (quelqu'un qui est acquis est beaucoup moins désirable que quelqu'un qui ne se laisse pas faire).
Euh d'abord, prend 5 minutes et demandes-toi si tu n'es pas parano ou que tu extrapoles trop.
Ensuite, c'est peut-être effectivement la coloc le problème ! Peut-être qu'il se sent moins capable de montrer ses sentiments devant un pote. Peut-être une sorte de petite honte à être gay...