The Corner

Ping Pong: “Going Home”

Via the Independent, some more from Mayor Boris:

In a speech peppered with classical references at London House, the British Games’ headquarters in Beijing, Mr Johnson said Britain had invented table tennis over its dining tables before it became a Chinese national obsession.

To cheers from the assembled British officials, Mr Johnson declared that the Chinese “have excelled magnificently at ping pong. Ping pong was invented on the dining tables of England and it was called whiff whaff”.

“There you have, I think, the essential difference between us and the rest of the world. Other nations such as the French looked at the dining table and saw the opportunity to have dinner. We looked at the dining table and saw an opportunity to play whiff whaff.

He continued: “That is why London is the sporting capital of the world. I say to the Chinese and I say to the world – ping pong is coming home.”

Asked about his difficulties waving the Olympic flag in front of the huge Beijing crowd at the closing ceremony, he said: “It was very much more complicated than you might think.”

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