Jan-Ove Waldner is a Swedish table tennis player born on 3rd of October in 1965 in Stockholm. He is not only a legend in Sweden but is also a well-known player in China. He is considered as one of the toughest player to beat on the table tennis table.
He has earned a few nicknames which talks about his calibre in the game. He is called “Lao Wa” which means Old Waldner in Chinese. Considering the kind of athletic skills the game demands like the hand-eye co-ordination, Waldner is still proficient to play the game with players who are coached by his ex-competitors. “Chang Qing Shu” which means evergreen tree in Chinese is another feather on his cap. He was once more famous in China compared to the President of America at that point in time Bill Clinton.
He earned recognition in 1981 when he won Gold in Swedish Championship in doubles category. Thereafter he has been a consistent Gold or Silver medallist in singles and doubles categories in Swedish Championship. He has been a Gold or a Silver medal recipient in the European Championship every consecutive year from 1982 to 2002. He has won several Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in the World Championship from 1983 to 2001. He has participated in the Olympic Games consecutively from 1988 to 2004. He won Gold in 1992 Olympics and Silver in 2000 Olympics.
Waldner was into the game for more than 30 years playing many elite level international tournaments. Waldner is one among the seven players in the game to have played five Olympic Games consecutively. This is the greatest achievements one could ever dream about in this game. He was awarded ‘Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal’ in 1992 as he was recognised as the most significant Swedish sports achiever of that year. He is one of the four players throughout the world in men’s category to have won a career grand slam in table tennis. He played in the German Bundesliga for the club TTC Rhön-Sprudel Fulda-Maberzell till 2012. A long career came to an end with his sad demise at an age of 46.