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Jan Ove Waldner Biography

Pride And Prejudice, Guerrilla Foreman, One Last Time, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments, Where Is He Now?


Swedish table tennis player

Jan Ove Waldner has been called the "Mozart of table tennis" because of his ability to play many different compositions on the table. If not Mozart, Waldner is certainly the Michael Jordan of his sport. His domination and nearly mythical status among the sport's players and fans is unprecedented in the history of the game. Although table tennis doesn't enjoy the respect reserved for the world's more recognized sports, Waldner, in countries that take the sport seriously, is widely recognized as the best player of all time. He is one of two players in the sport's history to win all three major titles—at the World Championships, the Olympics and the World Cup. He is also known for possessing the finest serve technique in the European game.

Born October 3, 1965 in Stockholm, Sweden, Waldner quickly became interested in the sport to which he would ultimately devote his life. At the age of six, he asked his parents if he and his brother could participate in a small local tournament. With the encouragement of his parents, Waldner would go on from there to become the Swedish champion for his age group by the time he was nine years old. He turned professional at the age of fifteen and won his first tournament, and a Porsche, at the age of sixteen.

Sketch by Aric Karpinski

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Famous Sports StarsTennis