Stephanie Olson (L) dressed as Mr. Miyagi and Beth Weaver as Daniel LaRusso from the Karate Kid, join more than 450 ping pong in the fifth annual Ping Pong on the Plaza tournament on September 14, 2017 at Union Station. The 80’s themed event is a fundraiser for the IMA Foundation that helps education institutions, advances youth and supports arts and culture. (John Leyba, The Denver Post)
I was staring down Miles, the Denver Broncos mascot. This point was going to be mine. I raised my ping pong paddle, mentally envisioning my serve while tuning out the taunts from the white horse.
And I had to wonder: How did I let this happen?
The day before, I had been talking with my editors about Ping Pong on the Plaza, an annual charity competition held outside Union Station that raises money for local nonprofits, hosted by the IMA Financial Group. We were throwing out story ideas when a co-worker poked his head up over his computer screen to shout, “You should enter,” before slumping back down.
Ten minutes later, I was calling to put in my name, as well as reporter Jesse Paul’s, for the mini doubles tournament of local “celebrities,” which included mascots and other news people.
There was one tiny, inconsequential problem: I’m awful at ping pong. But I can handle public embarrassment. What I can’t handle is a competitive teammate who also sits to my left all day and will surely judge me for a lack of skill, repeatedly bringing it up when he saw fit.
Which is why the night before the tournament, I was at the Family Star Montessori School gym in Curtis Park, playing ping pong with a Venezuelan lawyer while talking about geopolitics…
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