The Ponginator

Jul 11th, 20111 Comment

It all began in 1947. Byng Forsberg, a paratrooper during World War II, crashed his car and severely injured his right hand while auto racing at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. As part of his excruciatingly long physical therapy, doctors suggested that Forsberg play ping-pong. The doctors believed that ping-pong was perfect for rehabbing his injured hand, as it is a sport that helps to build muscle memory and is not too taxing on the body.

That was nearly 54 years ago.

The Ponginator in Action

Forsberg’s hand eventually recovered, but he never stopped playing ping-pong. From the day when the doctors told him to take up ping-pong, there has rarely been a week where he hasn’t played. And as a result, Forsberg is now a legend of the sport at the senior level. At the National Senior Summer Games in Houston in June, the 85-year old Forsberg breezed through a field of 30 players in the 85-89 age group. It was Forsberg’s fifth consecutive age group championship at the National Senior Summer Games. His dominating performance goes beyond the box score; as he won the championship WITHOUT losing a SINGLE game.

Forsberg came into the local spotlight five years ago when he challenged the “Governator,” Arnold Schwarzenegger, to a game of ping-pong. Forsberg said he kept getting letters from Schwarzenegger’s campaign team asking for donations, and he persistently wrote back that he would donate, on the condition that the governor played him in a game of ping-pong. When they finally played each other in September of 2006, Arnold nicknamed Forsberg the “Ponginator.” The name has since stuck.

Forsberg, or the “Ponginator”—-whatever you so wish to call him by—- plans to keep playing as long as he is physically able. He is Exhibit A of how ping-pong breaks age barriers and helps older citizens feel young, healthy, and energized.

One Response to “The Ponginator”

  1. B - ry says:

    Great Story

Leave a Reply