VERO BEACH, Fla. — While the United States won a number of Olympic medals in the pool and on the track this week, there are a number of summer events in which Americans are rarely favored to win medals.
But in Vero Beach, a man wants to create the next generation of great table tennis players.
It was at a science camp as a pre-teen where Tyson McCoy first caught the bug.
“And they had a ping pong table and, man, I fell in love with it the first time," said McCoy.
McCoy would go on to win table tennis tournaments in Florida and around the country.
He recently moved his Vero Beach Table Tennis Club into the Vero Outlets just off Interstate 95.
"It was a big gamble, but I knew table tennis, people loved it," said McCoy. "Anybody can play. It doesn't matter your size or your athletic ability. You can be 2 years old. You can be 200 years old."
While in the wake of the Olympics, McCoy would like to see table tennis gain a greater foothold here in the U.S. What he'd really like to see is it become a varsity sport in the state of Florida.
"If I get four schools to compete for two years on a regular schedule, then I can petition the state to become a varsity sport," said McCoy.
To do that, a company McCoy works with is giving him four tables that McCoy in turn plans to donate to four county middle schools and coach those students interested.
"They're old enough to know how they like their sports, but they're young enough to be able to carve out some free time," said McCoy.
Starting with a paddle here and eventually making it to a podium.
That would be a dream. Even if many consider it just ping pong.
"It can be ping pong. It can be table tennis," said McCoy. "It's great either way."