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Trending Now: A Brief History of Ping-Pong

If you’re unsure how to spend an open afternoon or a few hours of free time, look no further than an Optima® community! Ping-pong is just one of the many entertaining activities included in each of our multi-family developments. And while you might remember playing the lively game as a kid, what you might not know is its rich history. Today, we’re exploring the ever-evolving story of ping-pong.

The popular pastime of ping-pong that we know today arose in England in the late 19th century. At the time, it was more widely known as table tennis. The fast-paced game originated in Victorian England as an adaptation of the popular lawn tennis game to transfer the activity inside for the cold winter. And unlike the simple ball and paddle used today, participants in the game’s early years would get creative with their equipment, regularly using champagne corks as the ball, cigar boxes as the paddle and books as the net. 

However, it wasn’t until 1890 that the pastime enjoyed by the wealthy class of England attracted a greater appeal when David Foster patented the first table tennis-style game. It quickly became a favorite across Europe, and Hungary held the first national championship in 1897. During this time, the game became termed ‘ping-pong’, originating from the onomatopoeic sound of the bat striking the ball and the ball hitting the table. 

The Optima Lakeview® game room, featuring a ping-pong table

While the sport slowed down in the early 20th century due to a lack of governance, it experienced a revival in the 1920s following the founding of the International Federation of Table Tennis and its first-ever world championships. After the game equipment transitioned from a hard bat to a sponge bat in the mid-20th century, elite players from Japan and China helped to revive interest in the sport once again. Concurrently, ping-pong diplomacy advanced, contributing to enhanced relationships with Eastern and Western nations. 

While many don’t know the rich history behind the sport today, ping-pong’s dominant presence across the world remains. Seoul, South Korea, was the city to first introduce ping-pong to the Olympics in 1988, and following that, the activity gradually turned professional in the 1990s. Today, it remains the most practiced sport in China and an integral part of the country’s culture.  

A semi final ping-pong match between Chin and Korea at the 2012 London Olympics

Ping-pong’s attraction is rooted in more than its entertainment value, as it’s known to boost the health of both the body and the mind. Everything from the speed to the ball placement is crucial in the game, which is why routine players are highly skilled in creative and critical thinking. The fast back and forths and short distance nature of the sport also help with improved flexibility, hand-eye coordination and balance over time. 

Constantly bringing together people from different walks of life, the game of ping-pong embodies our commitment to connection and wellness within each of our communities.

Pet-Friendly Amenities at Optima

Though 68% of all US households own a pet, finding a condo or apartment that allows pets can be quite the treasure hunt. And even when pets are allowed, there’s still a big difference between having a pet policy and being pet-friendly.

To overcome this challenge for renters and owners, pet-friendly buildings are including additional amenities or offerings that welcome and celebrate the community of pet-lovers and their furry companions. Particularly in urban areas, these pet-friendly inclusions become crucial to the convenience and happiness of animal owners and their pets.

At Optima, we constantly push ourselves to innovate and include exceptional features that elevate the resident experience, from installing pickleball courts to carefully choosing retail tenants that meet our residents needs. Over the past few years, improving the resident experience has also meant amping up our amenity offerings for oft-overlooked residents: our four-legged friends. Here’s a closer look at pet-friendly amenities at Optima:

Dog Park at Optima Sonoran Village
Dog Park at Optima Sonoran Village

Optima Sonoran Village

Situated in the heart of urban Scottsdale, Optima Sonoran Village makes the optimal home for pet-owners with the inclusion of a community pet park. Beyond this dedicated space, Optima Sonoran Village has several acres of open space with walking paths, making it the perfect place for a morning dog walk. Each apartment at Optima Sonoran Village also features a private terrace, so your pet can get some fresh air at any time of day, without you even having to leave home.

Dog park in the 7160 tower at Optima Kierland Apartments
Dog park in the 7160 tower at Optima Kierland Apartments

Optima Kierland Apartments

At Optima Kierland Apartments, our pet-friendly amenities at each tower include a dog park and pet spa. Residents and their pet companions can also make use of the sprawling green space that surrounds the properties, where getting exercise for your pet never requires going far and even better, each unit’s private terrace offers outdoor space right within the bounds of your own home. The community even features a pet spa, so after a day of play, you can make sure your furry companion comes back to your apartment sparkly clean.

 

Outdoor dog park at Optima Signature
Outdoor dog park at Optima Signature

Optima Signature

At Optima Signature, our package of pet-friendly extras includes both indoor and outdoor dog parks as well as grooming facilities. We’ve even gone so far as to choose retail tenant GoodVets for our community here — a choice made specifically to respond to residents’ needs. Beyond on-site pet-friendly amenities, Optima Signature’s proximity to the riverfront and lakefront make it easy to take an adventure into the city with your pet.

Particularly in urban areas, we recognize that finding the perfect space for your pets to thrive can be tough, so we strive to make our residents’ lives easier and more enjoyable — for people and pups alike.

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Maintenance Supervisor

Glencoe, IL





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