Table Tennis player Melissa, Australia's first athlete to compete at both the Olympics and Paralympics, prepares to hit a table tennis ball during competition.

Episode 195: Olympian and Paralympian Melissa Tapper on Table Tennis

Release Date: June 28, 2021

Category: Podcast | Table Tennis

What do pimples have to do with table tennis? Australian Olympian and Paralympian Melissa Tapper explains all — and what she says about the sport will have you glued to the screen during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Milly competed at the London 2012 Paralympics in the Women’s Singles Class 10, where she placed 4th, and in the Women’s Teams Classes 6-10.

At Rio 2016 Milly made history by becoming the first Australian to compete at both the Olympics and Paralympics. At the Paralympics, she made it to the bronze medal match in the team event but lost out to the Brazilian team on their home turf. On the Olympic side, she played in both the Women’s singles and team event.

At Tokyo 2020 she’ll compete in the Mixed Doubles and Teams events with partner Heming Hu and then in Women’s Singles at the Paralympics. If you haven’t watched a Mixed Doubles table tennis match, be sure to tune in — if you thought the singles action was fast, add in two more players!

Milly tells us more about how the sport works, including why table tennis paddles (or bats) have customized rubbers that are either red or black; what shoes are best for the sport; and whether she’s smacked herself in the face with the ball.

Follow Milly on Facebook, Twitter and Insta, and check out her website for more info.

In news from TKFLASTAN, we have updates from:

And news from Tokyo 2020, including a tidbit about an Opening Day event.

Thanks so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!


Photo courtesy of Table Tennis Australia.