September 1, 2020

Table for One – Loading Docs: Li Chunli has never stopped dreaming of an Olympic Gold Medal in her beloved sport of table tennis

Li Chunli is a household name in Oceania Table Tennis. Without much contest she is considered New Zealand’s most decorated female player – even landing herself in the history books as a bronze medalist at the 1997 Women’s World Cup. Let’s not also forget her incredible medal run at the Commonwealth Games in 2002, where she won 4 medals – including the singles gold.

She competed in the prestigious Olympic Games on four occasions, each time running into tough draws and never reaching her big dream of winning a medal. In 2012 she returned to the spotlight to try and qualify again, after a long hiatus, and though she qualified second in the Oceania Olympic Qualification, it was not to be.

The excellent new documentary, ‘Table for One’ from the Loading Docs series, brings us closer into a life of unquestionable passion for table tennis, and a lifelong dream which the legendary Li Chunli is nowhere near ready to give up on.

“Am I too old? Nobody truly knows until I compete,” just one of many pearls of wisdom from the formidable 58 year-old. Li has given everything to the sport, and has made many sacrifices to pursue her love for table tennis, but you can see how much joy the sport gives her.

The documentary takes us through a tough period of COVID-19 lockdown and Li’s reunion with the game on the other side. Through every hurdle, Li plays in her club, in her home and even in a park against a folded table. Whatever it takes to keep her connection to the game alive.

We get a very real look into a lifelong journey, one which will continue as long as Li Chunli has a racket in her hand.

“The greatness of your heart determines the vastness of your universe,” what an inspirational message from a true great of Oceania Table Tennis.