Master and child prodigy
Jan-Ove Waldner is responsible for one of the greatest feats in Swedish sporting history. Olympic triumph in Barcelona in 1992. With his gold medal Waldner secured Sweden's position as a leading table tennis nation. The days of glory began with the World Championships in Dortmund in 1989 when Sweden achieved what the entire world had been trying to do for many years – to defeat China! The world's greatest table tennis nation.
China also had a beckoning, enticing and challenging appeal for the young Waldner. A tremendous, motivational force. It was also in China where Waldner first realised what you really need to become world champion. This fuelled his desire even more.
Waldner was a child of nature or quite simply an infant prodigy. A little Mozart. With amazing ball control, ingenuity, resourcefulness and strength. Even as a child he was able to screw, bounce and lob balls at free will. Over time, he created a unique economic playing style that allowed him to maintain his strength in a magical way. He also had a phenomenal eye for the whole playing surface.
Like all successful athletes Waldner also has a built-in winning mindset. Naturally.
What more is required to become a superstar? Waldner emphasises the role of his parents and family who recognised the joy of playing the game and not just the monetary gains. This laid the foundations of security that are essential to allow a person to show courage – the courage to win and the courage to fail.
No champion creates miracles on his own.
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