Though pockets of snow refuse to melt, the anxiety of summer fellowships is palpable in the air. It is spring, and with that comes an inbox flood of dozens of rejections and confirmations that you dear friends, are not extraordinary. To replace the bitterness, we here at Middblog would like to celebrate those that came within an inch of greatness. You may not have gotten that prized internship or won at nationals, but you got close, and I am proud of you!
On March 26th Harrison Kihonge ’14 made it through multiple rounds of his first tournament competition at Rutland’s Green Mountain Table Tennis club. Kihonge may have lost to the final player, however he would have gained a billion points in my book for sheer valor and ping ponging style (according to Kihonge there is no typical uniform, “all you need is a pair of shorts, a t-shirt and comfortable shoes. Oh, and your paddle too”).
Kihonge is a native of Kenya where “ping pong is not a big sport.” He began playing at sixteen, but “even then, we never really had a ‘proper’ Ping Pong table; we would conjoin dining tables together in order to play.” After high school he was able to find a table at the local HIV/AIDS Counseling centre where constant practice improved his game.
At Middlebury Kihonge plays primarily with friends. Though he acknowledges that he is “not the greatest attacker,” his strategy lies in offensive maneuvers with “less dangerous” players. He recommends the tables in Allen, Stewart and Nelson Arena because Ping Pong “is good for improving your reflexes and hand eye coordination,” as well as being “athletically enhancing; yes, people do sweat while playing.”
Rankings of the tournament can be found here
If you know of any other (Almost) Champions, Pass them on for a consolatory dose of online fame.