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Drexel University to Host 2008 US Olympic Team Trials in Table Tennis

August 7, 2007

Drexel University will roll out the red carpet when USA Table Tennis (USATT) brings the 2008 U.S. Olympic & National Team Trials in table tennis to Drexel’s Daskalakis Athletic Center from Jan. 10 to 13, 2008. The event, combined with the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in gymnastics, which Philadelphia will host in June 2008, makes the city one of only two U.S. cities to host two U.S. Olympic Trial events leading up to the 2008 Olympic Games.

The U.S. Olympic & National Team Trials in table tennis is expected to draw the elite 24 table tennis athletes from across the country based on rankings by USATT. Athletes will compete Jan. 10 in the qualification round followed by three days of finals. The event will be open to the public with tickets on sale in the coming months. For more information, visit or

“Drexel University is proud and honored to host the Olympic team trials in table tennis,” Drexel President Constantine Papadakis said. “It is exciting for the University to serve as the venue of such a high-stakes event in which teams will compete for the privilege of representing the United States at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.”

“On behalf of Drexel University I am certain that we will stage a well-run and visible event of the highest competitive caliber that will also serve as a showcase for the sport of table tennis,” said Dr. Eric Zillmer, Pacifico Professor of Psychology and director of athletics at Drexel University. “The Olympic Games celebrate an essential part of what makes us human. It is thrilling to me personally that the ‘road’ to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, at least for Table Tennis, will go through Philadelphia and Drexel University.”

“With Drexel University serving as hosts, along with the city’s entire sports community, we’re looking forward to a tremendous weekend in Philadelphia in January,” said Larry Needle, executive director of the Philadelphia Sports Congress, a division of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The Olympic Trials will be a spectacular event for the city.”

“Our Olympic bid efforts served as a great launching pad for Philadelphia to bring more Olympic sporting events to this region and build on our reputation as an Olympic partner,” said Joseph M. Torsella, co-chairman, Philadelphia Olympic & International Sports Project. “The Table Tennis trials, combined with the Gymnastics trials will help us to celebrate the 2008 Road to Beijing and sets us well on our way to positioning Philadelphia as a truly Olympic city.”

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for all sports is a collaborative, three-way partnership among the U.S. Olympic Committee, the National Governing Bodies and the Local Organizing Committees.

The Philadelphia Local Organizing Committee consists of Drexel, the Philadelphia Sports Congress, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, Philadelphia Olympic & International Sports Project and the area table tennis community.

Philadelphia boasts an impressive track record of hosting many premier sporting events, including the 2005 and 2006 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships, 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, 2002 NBA All-Star Game, 2001 U.S. Gymnastics Championships, 2001 and 2002 ESPN X Games, 2000 NCAA Women’s Final Four and the 1998 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.


News media contact: Brian Rossiter, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-2705, 267-228-5599 (cell) or

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