Written by Ilissa Gilmore Roswell Daily Record
At 72, Chung Lee of Albuquerque will compete in his second Senior Olympics competition this month. However, to him, it’s more about sportsmanship than competition.
Lee’s sport is table tennis and he will be participating in the singles, doubles and mixed doubles events. His partner in mixed doubles will be his wife Hyesook.
The pair began playing table tennis in their home country South Korea. After Chung’s retirement from teaching in 2007, they decided to join their daughter in Albuquerque, daughter in Albuquerque, where she manages a chiropractic practice.
Three years later, they resumed their hobby and now play three to four times a week.
“We play table tennis for exercise; it helps us stay active,” Chung said. “It’s just for fun, for both of us.”
They also play at the city’s Bear canyon Senior Center, which Chung said has a big table tennis group. Some of the members also will participate in the Senior Olympics.
Chung enjoys going to the center and said “it’s quite a nice institute for older people, really I enjoy being with the other people there.”
Here, we have a quite a number of friends,” he said. “By playing table tennis we can make friends easily. During the match, we see other people make mistakes and laugh with each other. It’s good.”
Though the games are more about fun, the Lees have proven to be quite capable in competition. Last year, during the competition in Las Cruces, Chung walked away with gold and silver medals and Hyesook with two golds.
“I think it is good we have a Senior Olympics event,” he said. “Even though I go there only for table tennis, there are many, many other games.”
Chung doesn’t participate in any other sports, but he does try to remain active in various ways.
One way is as an essayist for the Korean Literature Society of America, based in Los Angeles. Most of his work retells Chung’s experiences throughout his life.
Chung and his wife also participate in cruises to different parts of the world, such as the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, with people of all ages.
They are planning to participate in a South American Cruise at the end of the year, he said.