The Celebrity Challenge will feature local media personalities as well as past and current players from Orlando’s pro sports teams.
Orlando, FL (Dec. 11, 2018) – USA Table Tennis (USATT) and the Greater Orlando Sports Commission (GO Sports) today announced Pong on the Plaza, a public table tennis event set to take place on Friday, December 14 at Wall Street Plaza. The event will run from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. to help promote the 2018 US Open Table Tennis Championships, which will take place at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) from Sunday, December 16 through Saturday, December 22, 2018. The finals of the US Open Championships will take place the evening of Friday, December 21 at OCCC.
A ‘Celebrity Challenge’ tournament will be part of Pong on the Plaza, and will include the following participants from Orlando’s media and sports teams:
• Despina Barton, Spectrum 13
• Mike Bianchi, iHeart Radio / Orlando Sentinel
• Kyle Gravlin, WESH
• Adam Grinwis, Orlando City Soccer Club
• Jim Hess, WKMG
• Mitch Hults, Orlando Solar Bears
• Allen Johnson, Orlando Venues
• Joe Kepner, WFTV
• Jerry O’Neill, iHeart Radio
• Bo Outlaw, Orlando Magic
• Dillon Powers, Orlando City Soccer Club
• Jason Siegel, Greater Orlando Sports Commission
• Michael Waddell, Orlando Apollos
• Jack Witthaus, Orlando Business Journal
• Taylor Thompson, Orlando Solar Bears
Pong on the Plaza will feature an appearance from 2016 Rio Olympian Jennifer Yue Wu from 6pm-7pm. Wu was the 2015 Pan American Champion and is currently ranked #46 in the world. There will be tables set up for open play for the public, and USA Table Tennis will be on site distributing BOGO ticket vouchers for the US Open Championships to all attendees of Pong on the Plaza – for each ticket purchased to the US Open, the purchaser will receive one free equivalent ticket.
The 2018 US Open Table Tennis Championships at OCCC will offer an expansive schedule of table tennis events that accommodate persons of every age category and skill capability. The tournament will also feature a full slate of International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) sanctioned elite events that should attract some of the top table tennis players in the world, including the premier members of the US National Team. This marks the first time in the eighty-seven-year history of the event that the tournament will be held in Orlando.
“We are thrilled to welcome USA Table Tennis and the US Open Championships to Orlando for the first time, and we are certainly excited for the Celebrity Challenge at Wall Street Plaza as well,” said Jason Siegel, CEO of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission. “Pong on the Plaza will provide a fun, accessible opportunity for the public to get excited about table tennis and we hope that people will take advantage of the BOGO offer to attend the US Open Championships at the Orange County Convention Center next week. It’s a great chance to see Olympic-level competition right in our own backyard.”
For the full schedule of events and more information about the 2018 US Open Table Tennis Championships, visit Teamusa.org/usa-table-tennis/2018-us-open-championships.
For more information about Pong on the Plaza, visit Teamusa.org/USA-Table-Tennis/Features/2018/December/05/Pong-on-the-Plaza-to-Light-the-Stage-for-2018-US-Open.
USATT, which is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is organized under the United States Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport of table tennis in the United States. As a member service organization, USATT promotes table tennis by creating opportunities for athletes and coaches of all backgrounds to participate in the sport through more than 250 clubs and over 350 tournaments across the nation annually. USA Table Tennis is a member of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Pan American and Olympic Games.
USATT hosts two major events each year, including the US Nationals and US Open. In 2018, USATT also served as the host for the largest table tennis tournament in the world, the World Veterans Championship, which was recently completed in Las Vegas, Nevada. USATT. The title for the US Open Championship has been sought annually since 1931. The reigning singles champion in the men’s division is Taimu Arinobu of Japan, while the 2017 women’s singles champion was Yuki Shoji, also from Japan.
ABOUT GREATER ORLANDO SPORTS COMMISSION
GO Sports is a private, non-profit organization established to attract and manage sports-related events, conferences and activities that drive positive economic development in the City of Orlando, Lake County, Orange County, Osceola County, and Seminole County. Founded in 1993, the organization has hosted or co-hosted more than 1,240 events in the Greater Orlando area with a total economic impact exceeding $1.4 billion in spending within the community. For more information, visit GreaterOrlandoSports.com.