Will Shorts wants to promote his sport

IIn his main job, he specializes in difficult matters. Which is difficult enough. As the editor in charge of the crossword puzzle that appears every day in the New York Times, you have a reputation to lose: it’s considered one of the best in the world. As a master of challenging mind games, he has made a name for himself long ago. Among other things, with the invention of the World Puzzle Championship, a world championship held in a different country every year since 1992.

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Will Shorts found balance in intense mental work and countless long-ago journeys in a sport few people of his age in America practiced. The 69-year-old plays table tennis. And the card does not calm down. “I am the only one who has played in a table tennis club in all 50 states,” he said a few days ago. “I have played for clubs in forty countries so far.” but that is not all. Since October 4, 2012, he’s been holding a racket in his hand on each of his 3,000+ days and frankly admits: “Yeah, that’s a maniac.”

But the sport probably needs such positively crazy fans in competition to get attention. Especially in a country like the United States with a population of 330 million. Anyway, Shortz makes a huge contribution to that. In Pleasantville, a small town in the northern suburbs of New York, he ran a training center for everyone with 30 tables for just over ten years: the Westchester Table Tennis Center.

“In October 2012 we organized our first tournament. We had 161 players, which is a large number by American standards. The following year we started with monthly tournaments. We have held them every month since then – with a short layover during the pandemic.” The headlines are players from all over the world. the scientist. “The last one was Benedek Olah from Finland, number 78 in the world rankings.” On Wednesday, Austrian Robert Gardus came on his way back from Texas to train with interested amateurs, ranking 27th in the world train rankings. A few days later, the Egyptian Mr. Lachin, a former African professor, demonstrated his skills.

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