Reuters reported today that Ai Fukuhara–an 18-year old lauded since age 3 as a child prodigy– will be competing in the table tennis world championships next week, setting her sights on her first individual medal.
At a very early age, the “toddler-paddler” became a national celebrity and a regular on variety shows. Although:
“The pig-tailed toddler would regularly throw tantrums if she lost to grown-up studio guests and her mood would only improve if they let her win the next game.”
The article notes:
“Fukuhara knows it is high time she delivered on that early promise and won table tennis glory for Japan.”
Jesus, the pressure! Eesh. I really can’t handle it. Als0– why do the words “early promise” and “table tennis glory” combined make me so incredibly sad?
…Seems like the prodigous child fell from grace the last time around, ergo– the dire pursuit of victory (note the palpable air of Asian disappointment):
“Fukuhara took part in the world team championships in 2004 and helped Team Japan to a third-placed finish but she is yet to win an individual medal.”
I’ve gotta say, I feel for the poor lass. It’s bad enough having your parents barking at you to BRING HONOR TO THE FAMILY VIA A SUCCESSFUL ROUND OF TABLE TENNIS, but imagine an entire country, shaking their heads and clucking their condescending tongues at you simply because you took third place (aka second loser) at the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS while STILL IN YOUR TEENS.
Cluck, cluck, cluck.
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