Ping pong popularity is at an all time high and the sport is not just for nerds anymore. In an April article from the United Arab Emirates paper The National entitled “Anyone Can Join The Fun: How Table Tennis Conquered The World”, writer Ben East explains how the allure of ping pong has reached a new high, as Pippa Middleton (her sister is the Duchess of Cambridge and wife of Prince William) challenged London mayor Boris Johnson to a game, saying “he wants to be king of ping pong, more than he wants to be Prime Minister”.
Judging by how the world views our athletes, compared to politicians, that’s not a bad goal to have. But the key in that previous paragraph is that ping pong, a game sarcastically touted as the athletic pursuit of IT nerds, has slowly woven its way into Western society and business culture.
Take SPIN, a ping pong club operated by famous actress Susan Sarandon. Yes, a ping-pong club… in Hollywood. The club even made a cameo on the hit show Entourage. What Type-A testosterone-fueled male athlete HASN’T watched that show?
Most importantly, ping pong has become an important part of the workplace culture. While the trend skews towards startups, many companies are adopting the practice of having a ping pong table in the office as a way for workers to blow off steam and interact with their colleagues. While the highly touted “Pippa versus Boris” match has yet to happen, just the mere public conversation between Middleton and Johnson has shown us that ping pong is slowly taking its place among sports “royalty”.