USA Table Tennis What's New Ackerman Inspires Yo...

Ackerman Inspires Youth with a Motivating Story and a Handful of Medals

By Matt Hetherington | Dec. 26, 2017, 6:08 p.m. (ET)

Five medals to her name, four of them gold, Estee Ackerman walked away from the 2017 US Open Table Tennis Championships with the jackpot around her neck. Claiming medals in all areas of the game, Ackerman was entered in a total of 9 events and took gold in 4, silver in 1. Perhaps her greatest triumph at the event was claiming the top spot in the under 4200 doubles competition with 11 year old Avi Gupta from ICC. The pair upset Jiangshan Guo, the US Open Junior Champion, and his partner Isobelle Xu, the number 1 seeds.

Estee also paired with one of her idols Patty Martinez-Wasserman in the women's hardbat doubles, she considers Wasserman 'Ping Pong Royalty'. After defeating Wasserman to win the women's hardbat singles and defend her title, the two paired together to take out the women's hardbat doubles. With a win against Wasserman and a team medal together it was only fitting that Ackerman would settle for silver in the women's sandpaper singles in her first attempt at the event, with Wasserman claiming gold. 

Rounding off Ackerman's medal count was a gold in the hardbat mixed doubles with renowned coach Larry Hodges. 

Certainly a great way to promote different avenues into the sport with Estee Ackerman claiming medals in regular rubber, hardbat and sandpaper events, both in singles and doubles. A great way to show the opportunities within the enormous 97 events at the US Open. 

Ackerman was then invited to speak at the Desert Torah Academy Day School to speak with a large group of young students about her table tennis story and to inspire them to follow their studies and to consider the brilliant sport that table tennis is!

After her speaking she played with a number of kids and staff at the school and also signed some autographs for enthusiastic students. Ackerman is sixteen years old and a junior at Yeshiva University High School for Girls in New York and believes that to make table tennis more popular there needs to be a greater focus on encouraging kids in schools to get involved. 

You can see video of the day below, great job Estee!