Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.- Confucius
The statement above is especially true for the sport of table tennis, when play is carried out at such a ferious pace beauty can be hard to detect. The purpose of this article is to help the one reading this to see the beauty of a particularly beautiful table tennis player - Jan-Ove Waldner a.k.a the Mozart of table tennis - if he does not/has not yet see/seen it.
The beauty of the absurd defence
Enjoy this wonderful beautifully bizarre exchange between the Mozart of table tennis and his quite skilled opponent (skilled enough to maintain such a rally that is). Have you ever seen anything like this in the sport of table tennis, we certainly have not and probably never will. His deliberate pauses, fatal to anyone less extraordinary, reinforces the whole surreal feel of the exchange. I still can't figure out if this is a magic show, an artistic display of athletic ability in the setting of a table tennis match, or an actual table tennis match. Can you? Perhaps the only person who knows the answer is the artist of the point himself, Jan-Ove Waldner.
The beauty of the rock in a stormy ocean
Jan Ove-Waldner is known for his incredible blocking abilities. For the purpose of this article however, we will not focus on how good he is in blocking, but how artfully beautiful such blockings of his are. The stillness of his upper body as compared to the franticness of his opponents', the unhurried unforced motions of his as compared to the reactive tatters of his opponents. There is just something mesmerizing about a still perceptible image or object being surrounded by an atmosphere of chaos and turbulence. What is this indescribable feeling of sublime beauty that comes from the maintenance of serenity and iron strength while being engulfed in destruction, we are really curious to find out? Unfortunately though we are not philosophers but that is certainly some food for thought.
The beauty of control over chaos
In a point very related to the previous one in this article, there is a strong sense of beauty in order in the middle of chaos. This time round though, we speak about control as the factor driving such order. Control and iron sturdiness are not the same, in case there is some confusion caused. Control can give one iron sturdiness in the famous of chaos, but being ironly sturdy does not mean that one controls chaos. Jan-Ove Waldner was reacting, not controlling, when he was winning points with his blocks. However, we believe that control over chaos is a higher form of beauty than the above mentioned iron sturdiness. Overcoming nature has always been the ultimate goal of Man, and by doing so in a context outside of Art, while producing artful results, has achieved what no other man (except perhaps for a person named Roger Federer) has ever achieved.
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