For the first time in over 20 years, Alberta is hosting the Canadian Winter Games and the table tennis team for Alberta doesn’t want to lose on their home turf.
On Saturday during the Lunar New Year Extravaganza at the West Edmonton Mall Ice Palace, two members of team Alberta were on hand demonstrating their abilities.
The crowd walked around the fenced-off area among the booths watching the two team Alberta players, Daniel Jian and Judy Pan, rally back and forth.
“We’re going to try our best,” said Peter Vuong, president of the Alberta Table Tennis Association. “All the players have this pressure, because we are hosting and we’ve got to prove to all of Canada we are the best.”
At the 2015 winter games, Team Alberta took home four bronze medals and the team has taken home gold before. Shuying Li who has been the head coach for almost 30 years says that everyone is really happy because of how close the event is to home.
“All their parents, their friends, they can all go and watch the game so everyone is very excited,” said Li.
All the members of the team are under the age of 18, with the oldest being 17 and the youngest being 11 years old, according to coach Li.
And they’ve been training for a while. Li said the youngest member has been training for three to four years while the oldest has been training between six and seven years.
“We’re going to go for it for sure, Alberta team go,” said a very excited Vuong with a smile and a laugh.
The Canadian Winter Games is being hosted in Red Deer from Feb. 15 to March 3 and the table tennis will be held at Westerner Park.
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