Not to win but to take part
Wang Chen, owner of the best Olympic record in the history of US Table Tennis, requests your signature in support of the following petition to help give athletes the right to fair competition in representing sports, specifically regarding athlete selection criteria. We urge you to sign this petition protecting athletes’ right to fair competition where the best athletes earn the right to represent America in the Olympics. Your signature will help ensure athletes are chosen on merit and not on favoritism, as recently enacted without notice by the USATT (USA Table Tennis). USATT is a favoritism driven body whose best interests do not address the needs of athletes. We need to stop the USATT from depriving the rights of hundreds of young table tennis athletes in the US; their right to struggle, their right to compete and their right to represent our country.
My fellow athletes, advocates and friends of American table tennis. I ask you to petition with me together. We need the USATT to roll back their announcement. We need to have all team members to be selected through the trial mechanism: fair competition. Give back to athletes the right to struggle and the right to compete. Say “No” to biased, discriminating selection. Say “Yes” to selection by fair competition by signing this petition.
Wang agrees with the Olympic spirit, which is best expressed in the Olympic Creed as experienced in her placing fifth in the world in table tennis at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. The Olympic Creed as stated by Pierre de Courbetin is: “The most import thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”
Before coming to America, Wang was a victim of table tennis politics. Representing America in the 2008 Olympics was very special to her. She was representing our great, democratic country. No constraints. Most importantly, she had the ability to compete freely. Competing freely with athletes from the super powers as well as from poor developing countries. Celebrating our shared humanity. However, with the new Olympic team selection change from the USATT, many of our table tennis athletes will not even have a chance to be like she was. No matter how hard they practice nor how talented they are.
Under the new USATT Olympic selection criteria, only one out of the three for each sex can be selected through the trial. Unless they are already top ranked in the world, which none of us are, the other two will be selected by a small group of people who most likely don’t even know many of the athletes. Unless the athletes spend a fortune, dropping out of school or quitting their job to attend the camps run by these people.
While the USATT advocates this new discriminative selection process, it did not establish any mechanism to prevent corruption and Safe Sport risk. To make matters worse, USATT hastily announced this change without formal approval by the its own Board of Directors.
We need to stop the USATT from depriving the rights of hundreds of young table tennis athletes in the US; their right to struggle, their right to compete and their right to represent our country.
Click the link below and sign the petition: