For anyone to get a chance into Olympics is very difficult! The player needs to have many achievements, has to be a medalist and should be excellent in playing. Youths itself find it tough to find their place in Olympics and in spite of that, BILL GUILFOIL had dreams of participating in Rio Olympics 2016 at the age of 93.
Table tennis was introduced to Olympics only in 1980s. United States has never made it to the Olympics. Bill Guilfoil, a resident of Kansas city, America always had the wish to enter Olympics and saw to that an American participates in the Olympics. Even before ping pong was renamed as table tennis and became an official sport, Bill was practicing the game since he was 13.
America did few achievements in the field of table tennis:
- Ruth Aarons won women’s singles at World Table Tennis Championship in 1936.
- American men’s doubles teams won through 1936-38.
There were only small achievements like this but table tennis was neither introduced in Olympics nor did the Americans get a chance after it got introduced.
Bill Guilfoil was always passionate about the game and wanted to do continue his career in table tennis. But unfortunately he had forget about his dream because he joined the military service at the age of 18, due to World War II. Many people give up their dream after they get too busy in other endeavors. But Bill never forgot table tennis even after going to Germany and serving the military for 3 years. Even during those times, he talked about his experience when he first picked up the racket and started playing in national competitions.
In one of the interviews Bill said “You could start at home against a wall, that’s what I did when I was 13. I played the wall to the nationals, almost. It was amazing… You have to get yourself acquainted with someplace”.
GUESS HARD WORK ALWAYS PAYS OFF!
Bill Guilfoil dreams finally comes true at the age of 89. He gets a chance in London Olympics 2012, but unfortunately he was knocked out in the first round. But he never gave up. Why will any player who has been playing the sport for EIGHTY years give up after one loss? When he lost in 2012, he says, he is all ready to comeback for Rio Olympics 2016. “I am jumping into the fire, I never have fear of playing anyone” says Bill.
But bad luck always follows a person. Bill could not pass the tryouts in January 2016 for the Rio Olympics 2016. He currently runs table tennis program at Overland Park Racquet Club in Kansas, where he also teaches tennis.