Beating the Chinese at home in table tennis is a bit like beating the New Zealanders at home in rugby: an almost impossible task. However, in 2008, Vincent Bure, a disabled French table tennis player, became the champion of the Paralympic Games in Beijing. The 52-year-old, this friendly athlete has been in a wheelchair since he was 19 and a five-time Paralympic medalist, able to exchange balls and words with some of the young table tennis players from Dornese table tennis, this Tuesday morning, at the Jules-Verne gymnasium, where the club is organizing indoor training during the All Saints holiday. My partner’s family lives nearby and has come here to help build a house. So I asked the club leaders if I could come and play a little bit,” explains Vincent Burry, from the Grenoble region.
There are no taboos for young table tennis players with regard to handicapped players, rather they become ambassadors in their entourage on the issue of disability.
Table tennis model embedding
The request was accepted with great pleasure by the Dornini Association, whose few representatives who attended on Tuesday did not leave the Grenobles racket at hand. “Table tennis is one of the few sports that players with disabilities and healthy players can play together or against each other, and it has been for many years. It’s normal,” says Vincent Bure, who sees healthy people give him no gift when they line up. Against him, including young people. “There are no taboos for young table tennis players with regard to disabled players, they even become ambassadors in their entourage on the issue of disability,” continues the Paralympic medalist, whose presence somewhat impressed DZTT coach Ludovic Galuzzi “I have goosebumps, imagining his gold medal in my head,” he smiled a few moments after hitting the balls with the person in question.
Health passes and moves
This surprise visit was much appreciated, as the start of the 2021-2022 season for the Dornenst club, which includes 120 licensed people, was not so rosy. “Like many other associations, we have lost 20% of our members registered in the competition due to the health card. We are providing five teams instead of the current seven,” explains President Jean-Malo Lebarbe. As for the temporary relocation from their assigned room, occupied by the vaccination center since September , to the Jules-Verne gymnasium, it stays in the throat of some table tennis players.” She always grumbled among the members. We even shouted by visiting clubs on match night, because sometimes we start late while waiting for the end of meetings of other sports federations,” notes the president. It is not yet known when DZTT will be able to reclaim ownership of its buildings.
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