To those of us who were fortunate enough to have witnessed the U.S. Olympic Trials in Cary, NC in early February or to have seen some of the matches that were streamed on NBC Universal, I think that the consensus was that it was a very successful event. Details about the event are covered in the March/April magazine but I would like to again acknowledge the work of the LOC headed by Hill Carrow and Faryn Roy of the Triangle Sports Commission, USATT Board Member Mike Babuin and the Town of Cary, the U.S. Olympic Committee led by Tammie Liddie, the Bond Park Community Center staff, ITTF equipment sponsors (STAG and TINSUE), Board Member David Del Vecchio for managing the streaming program and countless other volunteers for their support. The objective was to make the event a memorable competitive experience for the athletes, coaches, officials and families and I think that objective was met.
We have just a few weeks to catch our collective breaths before we conduct the North American Olympic Trials, also in Cary, NC from April 20-22. Conditions are expected to be the same as they were for the U.S. Olympic Trials expect that this is an ITTF and North American TableTennis Union event and we are fortunate to have Mr. Raul Calin assigned from the ITTF as our Competition Manager. We remain very optimistic about our USA athletes and their chances of qualifying for the London Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, we are working closely with Dell Sweeris and the Grand Rapids LOC in making all the preparations needed for the 2012 U.S. Open. The entry forms are now posted and we are pleased to be able to offer an Advanced Umpire Training component as part of this event and working with NATT we are also conducting an ITTF Junior Circuit event within the 2012 U.S. Open.
We have the ITTF World Championships in Dortmund, GER from March 25 to April 1 where we will field full men’s and women’s teams from the USA. What a great tune up for the North American Olympic Trials later in April!
We are very proud of our USA Paralympic athletes, Tahl Liebovitz and Pam Fontaine, who have already qualified for the London Paralympic Games. We just learned that Tara Profitt has been selected by the ITTF to represent the USA in the London Paralympic Games in the SF-2 Class and she will now double with Pam Fontaine to compete in the Class 1-3 Team event.
On the Home Front: The Annual Giving Campaign continues to be on track to reach our goal and to assure the maximum matching grant funding from the U.S. Olympic Committee. Please go to the website or review the recognition in the magazine that we are making to those who have so generously chosen to participate in this campaign. We are looking into establishing our own phone an internet system (currently we are with the USOC systems) when we make the physical office move possibly in early May where we will be located in a building owned by USA Volleyball. When the move is completed your National Office will have emerged from the lower level (yes, basement!) of the building we currently co-own with US Fencing, USA Archery and USA Field Hockey.
Our webmaster, Sean O’Neill, is working very hard with the U.S. Olympic Committee to finalize the migration and upgrades to our website. We’ll ask him to post a full report for the membership on this area very soon.
The 2012 U.S. National Championships will be staged in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center with competition scheduled for Dec 18 – 22.