THIS together with the support from the Parent Council proudly launched the lecture series “THIS Master Talks” for the 2021-2022 academic year yesterday. Experts from all fields are invited into our school to share their stories with our students. This series was created to further open windows for students and to broaden their horizon to the infinite possibilities of the world.
On January 12, 2022, the first session of “THIS Master Talks” series was successfully held in the main lecture hall of the Qingyan Building of Tsinghua Fuzhong. We were honored to have Ms. DENG Yaping, the world-renowned table tennis player and an inspirational icon for generations in China, come on campus to share her life story.
Before the lecture officially started, Ms. Deng walked into the classroom and was warmly welcomed by the students and teachers. The students were so surprised to see their role model in person that they cheered to express their excitement.
Ms. LI Wenping, our Executive Principal of THIS and Principal of Tsinglan School, warmly welcomed Ms. Deng, an alumnus of Tsinghua University. She expressed her hope that THIS students would be inspired by listening to Ms. Deng’s story, meet her in person, and let her spirit pass on. Hundreds of teachers, students, and parents listened on site and through online streaming.
Ms.Deng started playing table tennis on a wooden box at the age of 5, but was often rejected because of her short height. She persevered by practicing long hours and with weights eventually becoming the world championship at the age of 16. She continued to dominate the world of table tennis for 8 years ……
Ms. DENG Yaping inspired all of us with her narrations, “disadvantages are not terrible, you have to think, how to turn your disadvantages into your strengths and to unexpected”, “four Olympic gold medals, eighteen world championships,” and “what sports brought me the most is so much more than these medals.” All these experiences made her heart strong with no fear of failure. She dares to win. When concluding her sports career, Ms. Deng Yaping proudly said, “I broke the prejudice that ‘athletes with bad physical conditions cannot become champions”.
Looking back on Ms. Deng’s path of study, from a retired athlete who learned English at the age of 24 to a bachelor’s degree in English from Tsinghua University, a master’s degree from the University of Nottingham, and finally to “the first PhD in Economics with four Olympic gold medals in the 800 years of Cambridge history,” Ms. DENG Yaping’s most memorable experience was her determination of going to the University of Cambridge for her PhD. As she said, “How many times can I fight in life? If I can do something right now, why should I leave it to the next life?!” So, Ms. Deng once again used her own “impossible to miracle” path of study to break the social prejudice thought of ‘athletes simple-minded, well-developed limbs’.
Ms. Deng summarized her 11-year path of the table tennis experience and the 11-year path of study, which exactly fulfilled an old Chinese saying: 10 years to sharpen a sword. Ms. Deng said, “As long as there is persistence and perseverance, I firmly believe that it is never too late to do anything from now on”.
At the end of the session, Ms. Deng played a friendly match with our ping pong juniors and also presented the signed copies of her new book – Heart Power to the students who actively participated in the lecture discussion.
During the lecture, THIS students not only listened very carefully, but also actively interacted and asked questions, not missing the opportunity to talk with their role model. Ms. Deng Yaping was also impressed by the students, and she said that THIS students are a group of dynamic and enthusiastic children who have the depth of thinking at the same time.
7 年级 / Grade 7
It is my honor to play table tennis with Ms. Yaping Deng today. I have practiced table tennis for seven years, and I have been shocked by the outstanding world champion. I comprehended today that, passion and persevering in the face of challenges are critical and vital for creating a remarkable miracle. Thank you THIS for providing us with spectacular opportunities to draw lessons from people who have won themselves victory. All of your efforts will indubitably bring THIS great accomplishments.
It was great pleasure for myself to be so close in person to Ms. Deng Ya Ping and answer her question. Since I’ve been playing table tennis myself since a young age, I know her international status and influences on the sport of table tennis. I’ve always admired her for her accomplishments. After listening to her speech, I came to another level of understanding of her. My impression of her is no longer titles like “Table Tennis Grand Slam or Olympic champion”, but it came to be many personal stories like how she was able to overcome physical disadvantages and convert it into advantages in table tennis, also how she challenged the social norm and prejudice, and lastly about how she challenged herself for her education. I am happy to be awarded with Ms.Deng Ya Ping’s autobiography “Xin Li”, I hope I can improve my mood, efficiency and self-control through reading her book. Lastly, I hope I can be my own “World Champion” like she did.
When I was informed that I could compete with the world champion Deng Ya Ping in table tennis, I was astonished and fully aroused. Although we only played against each other in a peaceful way, I still enjoyed the few minutes she spent playing with me. This was undoubtedly a valuable experience.
Miss Deng Ya Ping’s speech for our THIS community was truly inspirational! She informed us how people can use their efforts to change other’s thoughts and opinions in a positive way. She practiced table tennis more than anyone and was able to supersede all expectations inspiring a generation. Her life story reminded us to never give up during times when you face obstacles. We thank her for delivering that message so eloquently to our THIS community!
Ms. Deng told us about her ping-pong part of life with very strong words. In my mind, it all found together like a movie, and even after the lecture, I still thought of it. Ms. Deng’s presentation was wonderful, I hope she can come back again and give another speech.
I feel grateful about the lecture and Ms. Deng’s life. I think Ms. Deng had a very painful life, she had to train nonstop everyday. I really liked the part where she took out a real ping-pong table and began playing with some students.
Principal Li Wenping said, “our school and parents will continue to together invite famous masters in various fields to THIS, so that our children can communicate with their role models face to face. We believe that every world champion, artist, scientist and educator who comes to school may plant the seed of an idea in children’s hearts, and become a leader on their growth path, develop students’ diversified vision, and let them see a more real, broad and amazing world outside the classroom.
Scan to watch the Special Lecture
文字 Writing | THIS Parents, Mercy Xu, Mia Gu
排版 Editing | Mia Gu
图片 Pictures | Mercy Xu
审核 Auditing | Dieu-Anh Nguyen, Toni Dong, Wenping Li