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> 100 year old man king of table tennis
xanadu
post Jun 26, 2007, 11:11 AM
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Note: this story was written last year before he turned 100. He will be 101 in sept. Exercise has always been a component of health and longevity.

John Donnelly • King of Ping

At nearly 100 years old, national senior table tennis champion John Donnelly, 31BSC, was sure his 15 minutes of fame had come and gone. That is, until he received a call from the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Stunned, Donnelly and his wife Marian flew first class from Sun City Center, Florida, to Burbank, California, where he and Leno played a one minute pingpong match in front of millions of viewers.

"He's a very friendly guy," says Donnelly. "I got a few good shots on him."

The ping-pong pro caught the attention of an NBC producer after a local television station broadcast a feature about his gold medal win in the 2005 National Senior Games in Pittsburgh. After the duel with Leno, Donnelly took his place on the couch next to Da Vinci Code director Ron Howard. Leno asked him to recite his spicy poem, "Advice to Aging Lovers," which turned the red-haired Howard crimson with laughter. Before and after the May taping, the Donnellys received the star treatment, including accommodations at a luxurious hotel.

Although Donnelly's table tennis career is newly famous, he's worked to perfect his game for the past 80 years. He played in high school, and performed a 1931 exhibition match in the Iowa Memorial Union while enrolled as an accounting major at the University of Iowa. After he settled down and started an accounting practice, he retired the paddle, but resumed table tennis a few decades later. Today, Donnelly plays four days a week with the Sun City Center Table Tennis Club, which he founded. Participating in the 95- to-100-year-old division of the Senior Games, he's been the sole competitor in his age group the past two years.

"They basically give me the medal now just for getting there," says Donnelly, who last year was allowed to play the youngsters in the 85- to- 90-year-old
category to take third in that division.

Donnelly turns 100 next month, and he credits his wonderful family life and successful
career for his longevity. Not to mention the fun game with the little plastic ball.
"It's kept me alive," he says. "Just picking up the ball 100 times is enough exercise to keep you young, believe me."
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Palaver87
post Jun 29, 2007, 10:38 PM
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QUOTE(xanadu @ Jun 26, 2007, 12:11 PM) *

who last year was allowed to play the youngsters in the 85- to- 90-year-old
category to take third in that division.



LOL funny and amazing smile.gif
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tristen
post Apr 14, 2009, 03:20 AM
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HI xanadu,

Die-hard fans will risk anything to watch two contenders attack each other in that vicious way that is unique to table tennis. Audio-visual companies have made it easy for everyone who loves the sport to enjoy watching it anywhere, anytime. There are table tennis DVD which provides a lot of data and footage, albeit compressed at a bargain. You can purchase at any of the outlets specializing in selling them or get them online at designated sites.
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reggie
post Jun 16, 2009, 12:16 PM
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Well congrats for him! I bet he never smoked...
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josephrettig
post Feb 08, 2012, 01:33 AM
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Wow its really nice story
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josephrettig
post Feb 08, 2012, 01:35 AM
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I congratulate him and appreciate
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josephrettig
post Feb 08, 2012, 01:38 AM
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I wish i will be like him.100 years of age but still fit

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