British player Les D’Arcy, 89, is Terry’s doubles partner. Les is a renowned advocate for the elderly, known for his determined—some would say fanatical—pursuit of activities such as weightlifting, triathlon and shot-put.
Fellow Brit Terry Donlon is 81 and has cancer. He plays wearing a nebulizer for shortness of breath, earning him a reputation as a “walking miracle.” Now, he’s been given one week to live.
Swede Rune Forsberg, 85, an archrival of Les, sees the 2010 competition as his last chance for gold.
Lisa Modlich of Houston, a relative newcomer at 85, has led an exciting life. She was raised in an aristocratic Viennese family and fought in the French Resistance before emigrating to the U.S. She is now married to Joachim, 25 years her junior, and is one of the game’s fiercest competitors.
Ursula Bihl, 89, of Germany, won the world championship three years earlier and almost gave up on going to the 2010 championship.
German Inge Hermann, 89, ended up in the dementia ward of a nursing home after her husband’s death 15 years earlier. Introduced to table tennis as therapy, she literally paddled her way back to physical and mental wellbeing, and today she manages the nursing home and teaches computer science classes. In Ping Pong, she’s going to her first international competition.
Dorothy DeLow of Australia may not be the best player, but she’s a legend in her own right. At 100, she is the game’s oldest competitive player.