By Brent Hearn
What makes the TMS College Table Tennis National Championships so special is the people. The players, the coaches, the spectators and the volunteers are all doing their part to make this event a success. That’s why we’re doing a series that focuses specifically on those who are doing their part to make this year’s event special.
For our last profile, we focused on a volunteer. Our next Random Round Rocker is a player, 20-year-old Cornell student Gideon Teitel. Gideon is a junior majoring in industrial labor relations and minoring in economics.
How many times have you been to Nationals?
What are your thoughts on the tournament thus far?
I think it’s incredible. Very well run, perfect conditions...the players are excellent. (I’ve) been playing with...all different kinds of players. I’m not in the team event; I’m in the individual event. So I knew that I would get knocked out… but the point is to play with a lot of people…
It’s great because they have, like, 20-plus tables in the practice area. (Writer’s note: There are actually 18 practice tables, but close enough.) So I’m always playing with people.
Are you the only player here from Cornell?
One other: my friend Kevin Li. We played doubles, too.
What’s your favorite thing about table tennis?
It’s just the feeling when you make a perfect shot—when you do what you’re trying to do. When you execute on your plan, there’s nothing like it.
If you could pick any celebrity to play table tennis with, who would it be?
Maybe somebody like Paul Krugman or some sort of—he’s not really a celebrity. I was thinking of a famous economist, but I would say him because I would maybe establish a rapport with him and since I’m interested in economics, it could lead to something further.
What’s something interesting about you that would fascinate the table tennis world?
I thought that taking cold showers would be good for my life, so I did that for, like, a year and a half. But...it really had no benefits and I was just being masochistic. I stopped doing that and nothing has changed. I read online that it’s supposed to boost your testosterone and do all this other stuff, but it’s all nonsense. It just made me procrastinate having showers.
Thanks so much to Gideon for taking the time to speak to us! We hope you’re enjoying the rest of your tournament—and your warm showers.
The 2016 TMS College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Round Rock CVB and is one of the premier table tennis tournaments in North America featuring 6 events: Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles, and Men’s/Coed Teams, Women’s Teams. The event is sponsored by TMS International, Gerflor, Double Fish, and Joola.
Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the TMS College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday March 25th and continues through Sunday March 27th at the Round Rock Sports Center
The National Collegiate Table Tennis Association (NCTTA) is a non-profit organization established exclusively for promoting the sport of table tennis at the college level. As the national governing body for college table tennis in the United States and Canada, NCTTA organizes intercollegiate competition throughout North America. www.nctta.org
About USA Table Tennis
Headquartered in Colorado Springs, USATT is the national organizing body for table tennis in the United States, serving 9,000+ members and nearly 300 clubs. USATT sanctions 200+ events a year including the US Open and US Nationals. USATT is affiliated with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), as well as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). www.usatt.org