Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-09-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

The OutField: Wolfgang's World of Ping-Pong
Wolfgang's World of Ping-Pong
by Dan Woog
2008-01-16

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Wolfgang, Rodolfo, Paulo, Jeff—as teenagers, they all played Ping-Pong.

They were good. But they grew up, went to college, got jobs, came to terms with being gay, and had no time to smash a little white ball across a small green table.

Eventually, though, they realized that life is more than going to work and clubs. They came back to Ping-Pong. They were rusty at first, but according to Wolfgang Busch, "It's like riding a bicycle. You never forget." Busch, Rodolfo, Paulo and Jeff quickly discovered how much fun—and what great exercise—Ping-Pong is. "My shirt is drenched when I'm done," Busch says.

Welcome to Ping-Pong, gay style. It is one of three dozen sports associated with Out of Bounds, New York City's gay athletics umbrella group. Members play once a week, at Paradise in Sunnyside, Queens. If you didn't know Ping-Pong palaces existed, join the club.

But, Busch says, playing socially is the whole idea. "The gay community should have lots of sports. Anyone can play Ping-Pong. It's all-inclusive, and it gets people together in a positive, constructive way."

Busch describes his sport as "a fascinating game. To play well you need complete concentration. Your whole body must be focused. You must be properly positioned at all time. And it's so fast. There's no downtime whatsoever." Busch is proud of his progress. "I used to be only a defensive player," he says. "Now I like to attack, too."

Ping-Pong was not always his favorite sport. Growing up near Heidelberg, Germany, he followed the path blazed by his father, president of a local soccer club. Busch played semi-professionally for a local team, Olympia Lorsch, but a bad back forced him to quit at age 22.

He moved into the entertainment field, serving as a DJ and sound engineer. At the same time, he was hanging out in gay bars, meeting American soldiers from nearby military bases.

"It was cool [ in the 70s ] in Germany to have American friends," he says. "GIs couldn't be out, but they went to the gay bars anyway. That's how I learned English." He learned about life, too, and after several visits to new friends in the States, he emigrated in 1983.

In this country, too, sports has been part of Busch's life. In 1990, he videotaped the Vancouver Gay Games with Lou Maletta, founder and president of the Gay Cable Network. He also bowled at the Gay Games. "I don't know why there is not so much attention paid to gay sports," he says. "There are plenty of porn videos, but nothing about gay athletes. And where are the gay sports shows on Logo?"

Busch was involved in a number of nonsports projects too, many of them music and video-related. He produced How Do I Look, a documentary about the Harlem "ball" community that derived from the 1920s drag tradition. He was a promoter and booker at clubs like the Limelight, Palladium, Tunnel, Roxy, and Danceteria. He worked with megastars like Madonna, Mick Jagger and Billy Joel.

He was not just a clubgoer, however. A committed activist, Busch served on Manhattan borough president C. Virginia Field's gay and lesbian advisory council. He coordinated events for the MetroBears. And he volunteered with Senior Action in a Gay Environment ( SAGE ) , an organization for elderly gay, lesbian, and transgender people.

It was through SAGE that Busch rediscovered Ping-Pong. He saw the injuries suffered when older men and women fall, and wanted to avoid that himself. "A lot of prevention has to do with reflexes," he says. "Ping-Pong is great for developing reflexes."

Diving into the sport with his trademark enthusiasm, Busch soon joined the Out of Bounds board of directors. "It's a great way to get publicity and attract new players," he notes. "And we always welcome people. Gay people should know Ping-Pong is good fun; it's competitive, but not too serious. That's a great combination."

Nonetheless, in December 2007, Busch was busy organizing the first championship for his club, Ping-Pong NY. And he is already looking ahead to 2010, when table tennis ( the sport's official name ) will be part of Gay Games VIII.

Those Games are being held in Cologne, Germany, a site with special meaning for Wolfgang Busch. "Of course I'll be there," he says. "I've already told my parents and friends that we've got a whole group coming from New York. They must get the apartments ready!"

Dan Woog is a journalist, educator, soccer coach, gay activist, and author of the "Jocks" series of books on gay male athletes. Visit his website at www.danwoog.com . He can be reached care of this publication or at OutField@qsyndicate.com .


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Pink Hat Run to benefit women's organizations Nov. 4 2017-09-23
Pink Hat Run to benefit women's organizations Nov. 4 2017-09-23
Meet AIDS Run & Walk Chicago ambassadors 2017-09-20
Cubs announce chance to win tickets to possible post-season games 2017-09-13
Pondexter part of Hall of Fame class 2017-09-13
Triathlon's 'Underwear Run' raises funds 2017-09-13
Proud to Run recruiting board members 2017-08-30
First 'Underwear Run' Aug. 25 2017-08-23
World Roller Derby Week thru Aug. 20 2017-08-16
Kiehl's annual ride helps to raise HIV/AIDS awareness 2017-08-09
PASSAGES Jeremy Begy 2017-08-07
Sky get Hooper, pick; Boyette leaves 2017-08-02
Chicago Sky moving to South Loop 2017-07-25
Series looks at trans athletes 2017-07-12
Theater Bike Ride on Sept. 9 2017-07-12
Jason Collins, Sky star discuss facing adversity 2017-07-12
'CLLAW XXVII' on July 29 in Chicago 2017-07-12
Hundreds tackle 200-mile Ride For AIDS Chicago 2017-07-11
Force era ends with loss to Boston 2017-07-09
Jason Collins to appear at Chicago Sky events 2017-06-28
PRIDE '17 Proud to Run sports record participation 2017-06-28
Jason Collins at Chicago Sky events 2017-06-22
BOOK REVIEW Game Changers: The Unsung Heroines of Sports History 2017-06-21
Marathon man leads LGBT running club 2017-06-21
Billie Jean King delivers speech at NU commencement 2017-06-21
Force advance to championship 2017-06-21
Drag rock climbing event benefits Transformative Justice Law Project 2017-06-21
Chicago Force heads into the playoffs, ending the team's 15-year run 2017-06-12
SPORTS Force stops Slam, heads into the WFA playoffs on June 17 2017-06-04
LGBT Hall of Fame Bowling benefit raises $7,100 2017-06-04
World news: InterPride, HIV death warning, tennis icons clash 2017-05-30
Tempers flare as World OutGames Miami is cancelled hours before opening ceremonies 2017-05-26
NBA returns 2019 All-Star Game to Charlotte, HRC responds 2017-05-24
King to speak atNU on June 16 2017-05-24
Registration open for AIDS Run & Walk 2017-05-24
Uyvari bowling benefit for Hall of Fame on June 3 2017-05-09
World news: Daley-Black wedding, Chinese university, Qantas CEO 2017-05-09
Chicago Force steamroll over Minnesota, move to 5-0 2017-05-08
SPORTS: FIGURE SKATING Adam Rippon discusses skating, coming out, future 2017-05-02
Uyvari bowling benefit for Hall of Fame June 3 2017-05-02
 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.