Top Ad
I DIG Radio
Listen live to the best music from around the world!
I DIG Style
Learn about the latest fashion styles and more...

50 years of Ping Pong Diplomacy: celebration for the life of George Braithwaite

Written by 
Published in Table Tennis
Wednesday, 27 October 2021 01:00

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Ping Pong Diplomacy, the ITTF Foundation is proud and honoured to be a part of the official dedication of the “The Chief” George Braithwaite Table Tennis Court. The event took place last Saturday, October 23, in New York, USA.

Retired from her professional career on the international stage last year, well-decorated Swedish player Matilda Ekholm was present at the event.

“After my retirement, I still work in table tennis with the mission to help grow this fantastic sport. This mission has led me to the ITTF Foundation. On behalf of the Foundation, we would like to commemorate the life of George Braithwaite and his contribution to using table tennis as a tool to create dialogues. He and his teammates’ charisma won over millions and helped defrost the tensions between East and West during the Cold War, eventually leading to 50 years of prosperity for both countries. The Foundation wants to ensure that the legacy of Ping Pong Diplomacy continues, not only on states level but also on grassroots level.”

Also attending on Saturday was Peizhen Shao, one of the members of the original Chinese team in 1971, who bid farewell to a dear friend.

“Friendship first, competition second – a phrase that I would never forget as it has become the equivalent of sport spirit in China. I was acquainted with George as early as 1971 when the American Table Tennis Team first visited Shanghai. We did a lot of sightseeing as tourists and played a lot of table tennis. Later in 1972, I had the honour to attend the welcome of former President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in Shanghai during their visit to China. I would always remember my friend George, a man with a big smile, filled with lively energy and high spirit.”

The ceremony was the official dedication of three permanent concrete table tennis tables in Capobianco Field, Roosevelt Island as well as the announcement of The George Braithwaite Community Service Award and Scholarship for high school seniors. It was a fun day packed with table tennis actions, music, dance, and poetry. In addition, free instructions were also available for those who wished to improve their table tennis skills.

“Thanks to the support of the ITTF Foundation and several local sponsors, the event was beautiful. It bought together people from all walks of life to celebrate the extraordinary life of “The Chief” George Braithwaite. I owe my career to the Ping Pong Diplomacy. Without the contribution from people like the Chief and his teammates, I would not have been able to immigrate to America when I was 12 years old. The original Ping Pong Diplomacy opened a door for millions of people, and this event has sets a foundation for many of us in the US to build upon the legacy of The Chief and the ideal of the Ping Pong Diplomacy: bringing peace and prosperity using table tennis.” – Thomas Hu, Event Organizer, CEO of AYTTO.

This event also awakes major media attention for a relatively small sport in America.

As we see more and more local conflicts and divides here in the United States, anti-immigrants, anti-Asain, Black Live Matter, White Supremacy… People starved because of COVID, people died because of COVID! Ping Pong Diplomacy can make a difference again. The Ping Pong ball is the roundest of all the sports.  No matter which angle you look at it, it has the same distance from the centre. This is the ideal game, the ideal world. Everyone was born equal. Once again, we can use this tiny round ball to help make the bigger ball named Earth a smoother place for everyone live on it.

Thank you to all the participants of the event.  You made the event special.  Thank you ITTF Foundation, you helped us make this event possible. I hope we can contribute to your mission of “Peace on the Table”.  The earth is a better place to live ROUND.

About AYTTO: American Youth Table Tennis Organization is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to teaching table tennis, teamwork, and table tennis-related STEM matters to school-aged students. The organisation provides a pathway for young students to learn competitive table tennis and sponsors The George Braithwaite Community Service Award.

About The George Braithwaite Community Service Award: A USD 5,000 scholarship awarded to high school seniors over 18 years who are on track to apply for or are enrolled in an accredited college, university, or technical trade school. Applicants must have demonstrated outstanding contributions to the AYTTO programme, including helping students improve their table tennis skills and sportsmanship, or strengthening, improving, or growing the AYTTO programme itself.

Sign up for our newsletter for updates on our programmes and projects.

Read 104 times


Source: Miami set to sign ex-MLS MVP Pozuelo

Source: Miami set to sign ex-MLS MVP Pozuelo

Inter Miami CF is finalizing a deal to acquire Toronto FC midfielder and former MLS MVP Alejandro Po...

Liverpool cult hero Origi completes Milan move

Liverpool cult hero Origi completes Milan move

AC Milan have completed the signing of former Liverpool striker Divock Origi on a free transfer, the...

Malacia joins United, first signing of Ten Hag era

Malacia joins United, first signing of Ten Hag era

Manchester United have completed the signing of Netherlands left-back Tyrell Malacia, it was announc...


Spurs claim ex-Thunder big Roby off waivers

Spurs claim ex-Thunder big Roby off waivers

The San Antonio Spurs have claimed forward Isaiah Roby off waivers, the team announced on Tuesday.Ro...

Hardy, 34, excited to help get Jazz back on track

Hardy, 34, excited to help get Jazz back on track

SALT LAKE CITY -- Will Hardy knew some of the inner workings of the Utah Jazz before being named the...


Bogaerts back in Red Sox lineup after leg injury

Bogaerts back in Red Sox lineup after leg injury

After sitting out Monday while healing from a left thigh injury that required seven stitches, Boston...

Twins' Archer dealing with ailing hip, lands on IL

Twins' Archer dealing with ailing hip, lands on IL

The Minnesota Twins on Tuesday placed right-hander Chris Archer on the 15-day injured list with left...

Sports Leagues

  • FIFA

    Fédération Internationale de Football Association
  • NBA

    National Basketball Association
  • ATP

    Association of Tennis Professionals
  • MLB

    Major League Baseball
  • ITTF

    International Table Tennis Federation

About Us

I Dig® is a leading global brand that makes it more enjoyable to surf the internet, conduct transactions and access, share, and create information.  Today I Dig® attracts millions of users every month.


Phone: (800) 737. 6040
Fax: (800) 825 5558
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.