Chuck Hoey, Curator
Issue # 9
Nov 1, 2008
ITTF Museum Newsletter
From the Curator's Desk

September- October saw much activity in the Museum, with many important visitors, wonderful donations, and a series of maintenance and improvement tasks. The overall lighting system was upgraded, and UV light protection measures were installed. A solution was also devised for the most pressing problem, moisture in some of the walls, a common happening in very old buildings. The ITTF chateau was originally built in 1692. This is a painting of how it looked in the year 1800:

Now I am also trying to complete our salute to the Beijing Olympic Games exhibit. Some Beijing pins continue to elude my grasp, despite daily combing through ebay. The museum is looking for these Table Tennis pins: Haier, Budweiser, UPS, Manulife, Coca Cola (the variety showing a bottle of coke), Bosco Sport, 200 days to go (6-piece multi-sport puzzle style), and Paralympics (variety without logo). Hope our readers can help to complete the exhibit.

Grateful thanks to the ETTA, and Mr Harvey Webb, ETTA Vice President & National Events Manager, shown here presenting the trophy to the Curator of the ITTF Museum. Harvey and Diane Kirkwood, Chair of the Sussex TTA, also donated an historic autographed photo from the 1956 World Championships, and Hall of Famer A.K.Bill Vint's personal racket.
1932 World Championship Trophy!

In cooperation with the English TT Association (ETTA), the ITTF Museum is proud to announce their kind and thoughtful donation of the 1932 World Championship trophy that was presented to legendary Victor Barna for his victory in the Men's Singles. This beautiful and historic trophy will be the centerpiece of our tribute to Barna, whose incredible record of 40 World Championship medals, 22 of them Gold, will never be equalled.

Olympic Gold Medalists Rackets Reunited

Ms. Yang Young Ja (KOR) has donated her original racket from the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, where she won Gold in the Women's Doubles, partnered with Hyun Jung Hwa. Ms. Hyun donated her racket to the Museum in 2005, so now the rackets of both partners are reunited! We are grateful to Ms. Yang for allowing the ITTF Museum to preserve her great and historic achievement in the first Olympic Games to include Table Tennis. Heartfelt thanks to Museum Ambassador Han Sang Kook for kindly arranging this presentation.

Olympic Gold Medalist Yang Young Ja presents her racket to ITTF Executive Director Jordi Serra at the Beijing Olympic Games
FIBA President visits ITTF

Bob Elphinston (AUS), President of the International Basketball Federation, visited the ITTF chateau in September and toured the ITTF Museum. Bob was General Manager of the Sydney Olympic Games Organizing Committee, so he took particular delight in our touch screen video highlights of the Sydney Table Tennis Finals. Shown here in the Museum's interactive Game Room, playing our JOOLA robot on the centercourt DHS table from the 2005 World Championships, Bob enjoyed the workout and demonstrated good technique.
Hisae Uehara Visit

The ITTF Museum was honored by a visit of Mrs. Hisae Uehara of Japan, author of Ping Pong san, a compelling story about legendary Ichiro Ogimura, for whom she was a life-long mentor. The Curator presented our eminent guest with a rare photograph of HRH Emperor Akihito as a young Crown Prince playing Table Tennis. Mrs. Uehara was clearly touched by the Museum exhibits, especially in our Age of Technology room, which features so many Japanese stars during the 1950s-70s. The highlight of her visit was the exhibit in tribute to Ogimura, which includes her book, as well as Ogi's personal racket from the 1950s. She kindly autographed the book, which is now being translated into English; I have read the first three chapters and can already conclude that Mrs Uehara is a genuine hero, who made countless personal sacrifices to help Ogimura and many other young players.

90 Years Young!

Bravo Mrs. Uehara - we hope to meet again at the ITTF Museum exhibit at the next World Championships in Yokohama.

Zhang on her way to Olympic Gold in Beijing
Photo by Kazuyuki Takahashi
The $58,400 Racket!

In the ITTF Museum I am often following auction trends, constantly looking for opportunities to acquire high quality items of historic importance. You can well imagine my surprise when I learned of a single Table Tennis racket auctioning for an astounding price of $58,400 (400,000 RMB)!

Olympic Gold Medallist Zhang Yining kindly gave her racket from the Beijing Olympic semi-finals to a special auction in China, to raise funds for rebuilding the sports infrastructure in the earthquake devastated areas in Sichuan province. Reports from the auction indicate that of all the Olympic items sold at this auction, Zhang's racket commanded the highest price for an individual item. The ITTF Museum would love to honor this great Champion, and we hope someday she will consider donating her racket so that we can preserve and promote her legend.
USOC Vistors

Representatives from the United States Olympic Committee visited in October. Chief of International Relations Bob Fasulo (right) and USOC Chief Operating Officer Norman Bellingham toured the ITTF Museum with great interest. They both took on our JOOLA robot in the museum interactive game room, and they handled the challenge very well. The robot has become one of our most popular features of the museum!

Contact the curator to receive e-mails about the new issues:
Online Table Tennis
History Journal

A magazine devoted to the history of Table Tennis and its memorabilia is available free as a pdf download via the ITTF Museum website, or by direct link: Magazine

The Table Tennis Collector is published 4 times a year, and is enjoyed not only by collectors across the globe, but also by those who are fascinated by the colorful history of our sport - nearly 2 million pages downloaded since the ITTF Museum began its publication in 2006.

Each issue is packed with 24 pages of historic information: research articles, vintage photographs, exhibit reports, and regular columns on auction trends, books and Table Tennis philately. The Fall issue was released on 1 November; it puts an end to the recent Whiff-Waff gaffe, announces some important new donations and takes a summary look at Beijing Olympics collectibles. Visit the Museum homepage: and click on the magazine cover to retrieve the issues. Allow time for the pdf download to complete, as they average between 2 and 4MB in size.
Did You Know ... ?
There are over 5000 pieces in the ITTF Museum, including 1000 rackets! Why not plan a visit to the Museum soon - groups welcome. Contact the curator to make a reservation.