why are asians the baddest ping pong playas?

In honor of the Beijing Olympics, Jeff Yang's latest "Asian Pop" column for SFGate explores the fascination Asians have with sports like table tennis and badminton: Balls and birdies.

He discusses the massive international appeal and strong Asian presence in Olympic badminton and table tennis, including ping pong's history and tremendous popularity in China. Here in the U.S., it's relegated to basement rec rooms. Over there, it's no joke. They take their ping pong seriously, like NASCAR or the NFL here.

Jeff also talks a bit about Jessica Yu's upcoming indie sports comedy Ping Pong Playa, which starts playing in select theaters on September 5. Turns out, Jessica is a ping pong playa too. It must be in the blood.

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