Bobby's Bama: Octogenarian ping pong player

HANCEVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Ping pong, or table tennis, is an Olympic sport, one which has been gaining popularity for years.

Harry Chandler played this game for 60 years.

"I first started when I first went into the service in 1951," said Chandler.

After being discharged from the Army, he went to work at General Motors in Detroit.  There he got to play the game he loves in between engineering prototype vehicles.

"We'd get an hour for lunch and this was on salary, and we'd play half hour for lunch every day," said Chandler.

He said the ping pongs were flying on 16 tables, and the company encouraged it, thinking some exercise would be an incentive to work harder in the afternoon.

And at night, he belonged to a 75 member table tennis club.

Once in Alabama, that's when he got really competitive.

"Oh... That's what I love to do," Chandler said.

Thanks to the wellness program at Wallace State of Hanceville, he competes in senior Olympics.  He's already won the county. Now his hopes are set on the state and national titles.

"So far I've won the state of Alabama twice, and then last year I went to Mississippi, southeastern conference, I won that.  I received a letter to go to Houston, Texas. That's for the big Olympics for all of the states. And I did not get to go simply because I had surgery, gallbladder removed."

But while he loves the battle, he's also a very humble, sensitive competitor.

"It's an honor to be involved," he said.

Mr. Harry said competing is a thrill for him.  One thing's for certain - he brings the awards back to Bobby's Bama.

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