I’ve been having so much to do with them that they probably see me as half-Chinese,” Waldner, 53, said. “In 2000 (at the Sydney Games), when I beat the Chinese, there were 250 million viewers in China. So it gets quite big. You’d need a lot of European countries put together to reach those figures.” https://all4webs.com/pingpongpro/home-.htm?
Between 1983 and 2001, Waldner won 25 medals in world competitions. In China, that feat made him as famous as the president of the USA.
The Swedish table tennis club Kalmar BTK signed Waldner in 1995 – but only after officials had carried out a study to measure the player’s fame in China.
While his competitors retired, Waldner continued, earning the nickname ‘The Evergreen Tree’ in China. He played in the first five Olympic table tennis tournaments following the sport’s introduction to the Olympic programme, losing a close final at Sydney 2000. Waldner admits that Barcelona gets tough competition in terms of his best Games memories.
“2000 was very special. It was also huge because I lost 3-2 to Kong Linghui (CHN) in the final. And if you look at the whole, Sydney was perhaps the best Games in terms of arrangements. It was amazingly beautiful in Sydney,” Waldner said.