Jim Demet is a longtime friend of the Huntsman World Senior Games. From Salt Lake City, Utah, Jim has been involved in the game since 1991. He’s competed in a variety of sports including cycling, road races, track and field, swimming, and putting it all together, the triathlon. He is an ambassador of the games and was inducted into the Huntsman world Senior Games Hall of Fame in 2006. And this year will be Jim’s 30th year competing at the Games.
Kyle and Lil also give an overview of the great game of table tennis.
Kyle Case 0:03
Hello and welcome to the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life. My name is Kyle Case and I'll be your host on this amazing journey as we attempt to help you get the most out of your life. Joining me in our studio today is my co pilot, Lil Barron,
Lil Barron 0:23
How are you?
Kyle Case 0:23
I'm good. What do you say we highlight another sport today.
Okay, let's do it.
We've been doing this for a couple months now we've talked about a lot of them. Today, I thought a little bit about table tennis. So, okay, yeah, yeah, that's gonna be a good one. So, table tennis, was added to the games in 1991, which is the year before I graduated from high school. But, but Lil the game, the sport of table tennis has been around much longer than that. So the International Table Tennis Federation was founded in 1926, but the sport has been around even longer than that, our good friends over at Wikipedia. Oh God. They say that the sport originated in Victorian England, where it was played among the upper class as an after dinner parlor game. They think that maybe makeshift versions of the game were developed by the British military officers in India, around the 1860s or 1870s, and they brought it back with them. Now that's interesting to me, and a little bit surprising because the game is so popular in the Asian countries that I have just always I just always assumed I just barely learned this myself but I've always assumed that it started in the Asian countries, you know, China, Japan somewhere over there but no it was an English that's actually where I thought you were gonna say, yeah, yeah like I said that was new to me too but I started in England, and many of us know the sport by its colloquial name of Ping Pong Pong right, so let's talk just a second about the income. The name Ping Pong was widely used in England, like that's just what they called it. We don't know exactly who started it, okay. But almost everybody was calling a ping pong. And that was before the British manufacturer, Jacques and son, Ltd, started making the paddles and the equipment to play it but when they started making it they called it ping pong paddles, that's what they call it right. And they copyrighted the name so other manufacturers had to start calling the sport, table tennis, because they didn't have the copyright to it, and pretty much the same thing happened in the United States. Parker Brothers, which is a game company, they bought the rights to the name of ping pong here in the United States, and then they enforce their copyrights so that other manufacturers had to call it, table tennis, as well so most serious players that we know call the sport table tennis. And that's how we refer to it here at the games. We offer a variety of different events of divisions including age singles, that is played, independent of skill level it's only based on your age, we have rated singles, which is based on your skill level. We also have men's doubles women's doubles, mixed doubles men's random draws on hard bat rated singles and doubles as well as super teared round robin doubles events wow so you got lots of options. If you're interested in playing table tennis at the Huntsman World Senior Games, and I'll also say that table tennis, just ends up being one of our more internationally diverse sports. The international appeal this board is such that we have players that come from all around the world to compete here at the games and table tennis we have athletes from Russia, from Israel from China, they really just come from everywhere. So if you're interested in watching table tennis, and table tennis really is kind of a fun. Yeah, it's a fun game to watch fun sport to watch you want to head over to the Dixie center, The Dixie Convention Center on Monday, October 4 through Thursday October 7, you're gonna see a lot of great action. Oh, when you're there. Speaking of action, Lil action Today's guest is a man of action Jim Demet is a longtime personal friend of mine and a longtime friend of the games. He's from Salt Lake City, Utah, and Jim has been involved in the game since 1991 He's competed in a variety of sports including cycling road races Track and Field swimming, and then putting all those together into the triathlon. He's an ambassador of the games was inducted into the outside world Senior Games Hall of Fame in 2006, and this year. This year will be Jim's 30th year at the games, Jim, welcome to the show.
Lil Barron 4:52
Jim Demet 4:54
Thank you. It's good to be here.
Kyle Case 4:57
Wer'e excited to visit with you. 30 years Jim That's amazing,
Jim Demet 5:02
right I can kind of everything. You could have ever saw that.
Kyle Case 5:08
It's fantastic. I listen I've I rattled off a bunch of sports that you're interested in that you've competed in I know that there are other sports that you compete in and play and enjoy. It sounds like you've been active your whole life, the whole act of life thing has been really a part of your who you are. I'm curious how and when you got into sports, Jim.
Jim Demet 5:34
Well, I grew up in a very athletic neighborhood. And I started. I started when I was about seven playing softball on the playground seven, you know, and I just took to it. Just, you know, play it in fifth grade, I started playing basketball and then my two Junior High's and junior high school and started running track just continued I just took to, you know, I just took to it, I just loved it. Nobody pushed me to do anything, you know, so you didn't have soccer parents in those days, kind of went out, did it on your own. I might say I've never stopped.
Kyle Case 6:25
That's the best way to start and let me tell you, never finishing is the best way to finish as well, Jim, I think I think that's fantastic. Start out with your buddies, and your friends from the neighborhood and then go from there. So, like I said, I kind of rattled off a list of sports and I know you've played a bunch of them, but I know you most for cycling and swimming. When did you start getting into the sport of cycling as a competitive sport.
Jim Demet 6:53
Well, started biking again, you know, as a runner, you know, I had a hip replacement, you know, and really started to become a little more difficult. And so I started, I just started one bike and just started biking, because I know it's just a good thing to do. I didn't do it competitively at first, but then I started getting into. I found that I liked it and, and anybody can wait to add some speed. Yeah, right. you know, and just got into us on Thurs running and and biking in, and then took to doing triathlons, but then I have to say when I first decided to Well, I think I just went and observes a cycling there at the games you know at the world game. Yeah, I looked at all cyclists and I saw these guys intense. And they are fast. I think they're lying about your age. But no, being me. You know, I just said well you know I just started doing it, you know, and took tune in, and enjoyed it, and you know when the nice thing there is that you know you have four different levels and everybody can do it and it just, I mean I still see them all is intense and serious. I'm not quite so serious. Sure, and I'm glad that I can still bike.
Kyle Case 8:43
Well, that's awesome.
Jim Demet 8:46
So one thing I can still do and you know if I can swim and, you know,
Kyle Case 8:51
Yeah let's let's talk about swimming for a second that was my next question anyway. When did you get into swimming and then how did you decide, yeah this is something I kind of want to do as well.
Jim Demet 9:02
Well, because of triathlons and, you know, I grew up in Wisconsin I was born and raised in Wisconsin and so I've gone to camps and scout camps and YMCA camps and you always do a certain amount of learning this way and not competitively make but you know once I decided to do triathlons, I was like, You better know how to swim.
Kyle Case 9:27
I found that to be true.
Jim Demet 9:31
You know, I just started to. I started taking lessons and developing my stroke and, and, and, you know that that's all. And then, and then doing them in triathlons and up here in Salt Lake and then I decided to start, you know swimming in trip competition. I found that, you know, challenging and something else to do and I enjoyed that it's kind of natural for me to take the challenge and see how good I can do it, I found that once I learned how to swim, efficiently, Simply so I could enjoy it. And then I found that I love swimming too and it's good for you, it's something that you can do whatever age you are, you know?
Kyle Case 10:22
That is for sure. Now Jim I know you won't remember this, but we've known each other for a long time, a lot of years in fact I met you, Jim back at the Utah summer games so I used to run that event, years ago, and back then I did a little thing that I called the directors there. And every year. During the years that I was there I tried to do a different sport, you know and I let the athletes vote on it. And one year I decided I was going to do swimming, and
Jim Demet 10:53
Kyle Case 10:54
so I only, I only signed up for the 50 meters I didn't have time or I'll say inclination at the time to do more than that but I did sign up for the 50 But you, You are the one that was right there at my block, and you were just giving me a little bit of encouragement that you and I didn't even know anything about the sport competitively, but you were the one who said to me, Kyle, you want to dive in and you want to just swim as far as you can, under the water before you come up, so this is like literally like 35 seconds before I get on top of the, the blocks to go, but I found that was great advice I didn't win my heat, I certainly did not win my age group at all but I but I didn't know that you were supposed to do that and I just, I remember you, just looking at me with all the confidence and like this is how you do a Kyle, this is the way you the way you go, and I appreciated that that was that's a fun memory that I have of you
Jim Demet 11:52
Yeah, I've always tried to, you know, to encourage people and, you know, and help them out because people have helped me out and showed me stage one. I mean, you know just showed me how to do this, how to do that and you know I can remember when I did my first open water swim in a triathlon, with, with a wetsuit and I tell you that you know you, you didn't know, you know, you don't have your beer, you're not in a pool where you could just stand up in their yard, right, the water ID there it is in the water and, and I just hyperventilated. Yeah you do and a lot of them do, you know, those who don't even spend that much. And so it was kind of, you know, interesting experience but I overcame it, you know, to at least be able to do it halfway decent and if you stick with something, you can enjoy it, you know, as long as you realize, like I've always had a philosophy. I don't limit myself but I know my limits yeah I like that. Yeah. You know and I don't. And I've always had this philosophy. I like being in the middle of Iran I like to be able to meddle if I can, but I'm always, but my metal, first of all was always finishing to cross the finish. And that was it and to this day, that's what I do, I may be way in the back anymore.
Kyle Case 13:29
Well, I love that. I want to talk just a second about triathlons, you mentioned that you you ran and then you had some hip problems and then you kind of took up cycling because that seemed like a, an easy transition and then you got into triathlons and realize you needed to swim so that's kind of how you jumped to the swimming. Tell me about the very first triathlon that you ever did what was that like?
Jim Demet 13:57
the very first one I ever?
Kyle Case 14:00
I'm asking you to go away back in your memory banks here Yeah, Yeah, we did it in the swimming pool, shall we, you know you can always find a lake or a river. Yeah, it was in a swimming pool and I just wasn't a very good swimmer. You had to swim in the lane and people would bump you know,
swim or the top of you.
Jim Demet 14:24
And I remember, they would put two of us in the lanes, you know, and so, so this one guy was coming back, and he was doing. Spread out he had his arm. I never forget that. I had to run right into it wasn't a good swimmer at all. And I had stopped, you know, I had to stop in
Kyle Case 14:52
His arms or in your way.
Jim Demet 14:54
Everything was inh my way, you know, and, like, then you know you just, I mean, tribes, I'm just saying it's kind of interesting about them is, you also have your transitions you know you go from to the bus to the bike and, you know, you got to you got to change the shoes, you know, all that kind of stuff and then you get off the bike and I can remember. And this is really interesting. When of course when I first one. Remember, the bike was 15 miles, and I got off the bike to start to run laps, right to the ground. Cuz your legs are tired legs are tired and you learn eventually you learn that you touch club grip training you learn to run off the bike. But of course at that time I didn't know that. And I remember. And I sat there,
Kyle Case 15:56
Jim Demet 15:57
So funny. I got up and started running and my name's got a little bit used to running, but I never forgot that. I just fell right.
Kyle Case 16:09
That's, that's a great story I've only done a handful of triathlons, incidentally, another one that I did was the Summer Games triathlon and you were there too, I remember.
Jim Demet 16:23
Yeah, you're pretty daring. You're pretty daring I always thought, Man, you don't even practice and you do this,
Kyle Case 16:31
well I That's my problem. I rarely practice, or at least during those days I did get better, that's then follow his swim. Swimming was my worst. It was my worst, we don't need to talk about my triathlon experience but, But it's, but I'm not a great swimmer especially distances, I need to find out, Jim, like you said, how to swim efficiently I haven't done that I, if I fall off the, you know fall off the dock I can swim back to the shore but, but I know it's going to efficiently so. So one of the, one of the other great things that we offer. the World Senior Games, we do offer everything we talked about, we've got the running events we've got the swimming events we've got the cycling events. Of course we have a triathlon as well. And this isn't unique to us but it's kind of a cool thing that we do, we do a triathlon relay, and generally that's what I've done. Yeah, I noticed is that that is what you're signed up for this year. Tell us a little bit about the relay and how that works for you know a team and triathlon.
Jim Demet 17:34
Well, well you can do it any way you want, I mean you can have a minimum of two people you can have one person do two events, you know, but you just get a, you know your team you get so many industries, somebody to bite and somebody to run, is, is kind of fun and I've always, you know, I'm always done to swim in that. And then, of course, what is a big thing what to do to do a dress I do you recruit, you say great fashion. So, you know you just look for the fastest cyclists and. And I have one that's real fast, You know, that helps, and then enter brother, you know and you know the runner iPads for, maybe, 10 years, sick I've known half of my life. And it's fun, you know, it's just fun to, you know, just to do it as a team.
Kyle Case 18:34
And we divide those triathlon teams up by total age, so you add up the age of the swimmer and the age of the runner the age of the bike or the cyclists and. And then, depending on where those ages land, those are the different divisions that we have broken up so oh right,
Jim Demet 18:57
and I'm in the 240 year division.
Kyle Case 19:01
There's some experience there like there's some experiences that I noticed that the name of your triathlon team is two Ds and A J. I Like that. I like that.
Lil Barron 19:16
So I'm understanding Kyle they wouldn't ask you to be the swimmer?
Kyle Case 19:20
Not if they want to do any kind of a good time
Jim Demet 19:28
I have a good question for you so if you're gonna doa traithlon. What event, would you pick?
Kyle Case 19:42
I mean I'm bad at all of them really I, but I mean I probably have to just say I would do the run just because I know I'm no good at swimming and I don't own a bicycle So Jim, every time I've done a triathlon I've borrowed a bicycle to do it, and it's never the right size and it's never it's never good experience. But I need to I need to
You have your own running shoes,
I need to figure out what I'm gonna do, you know, and and triathlon is definitely on my list of potential sports that I look at as what will be my lifetime sports I definitely looked at it, but I haven't, I haven't made that commitment yet but, but I think about you, Jim, all the things that you've done over your life and the great things that you've accomplished and I think you know triathlon could be, could be one of those things that might work for me and I'm not quite old enough to compete in the Senior Games yet 47 right now so I got a couple of years ago, but I definitely want to be ready to do something I definitely want to do something so I'm looking forward to. So of the, of the ones that we talked about and again, Jim, I know you played a bunch of sports but do you have a favorite in the running the swimming the triathlon the biking which one is the one that you would gravitate towards.
Jim Demet 21:09
Well, I would say, of course. I like the more. Yeah. If I had to pick a favorite one, I would do, running track and seal, swimming, see they're all different. Yeah, they each have their different challenges. But then, but then the enjoyment. I would say, track and field,
Kyle Case 21:40
track and field, okay.
Jim Demet 21:42
Because that's, that was my bread and butter and College High School in college and you know you have so many events you can run 100 200 400 800 tons of options exchange track and field. Awesome,
Kyle Case 21:56
I love it. We've got, I don't know, probably 90 seconds left, I want to ask you, just, yeah, I know as time goes by. Time goes by so fast, as you've been competing in these Games for so long 30 years I mean that's incredible. Incidentally, we've got your Letterman's jacket here waiting for yes so we're excited to present that to you in our endurance awards. But I'm just wondering if you have a favorite memory over the past three decades component of the games, what kind of stands out to you as that moment that's like yeah, this is the thing
Jim Demet 22:29
I would say, I would say, the friends that I met in the swimming competition swimming competition, you know, you meet these, you know from all over the world. And you just end with swimming, you know, the swim meet last year. You get to be around them, you get to fellowship just by the nature of the sport,
Kyle Case 22:54
There's some downtime, yeah,
Jim Demet 22:56
yeah and so you just make so many friends and it's just, you know, it's just so enjoyable to compete and make friends because that's really what it's all about compete and make friends
Kyle Case 23:11
It really is Jim I love it. What a great way to approach life and certainly to approach those games, Jim, thank you so much for joining us and we're looking forward to seeing you in October.
Jim Demet 23:24
Kyle Case 23:25
Okay, that's great that is good, just, just good stuff 30 years. Yeah, that's amazing. Let me just share a couple of quick things just to wrap us up here, registration of course has closed for those that have real Senior Games. We've got to work putting together the schedules and the brackets and all that kind of stuff. We're getting a lot of questions about COVID-19, which is understand that you can find our update and COVID-19 plan at SR games dotnet, and we encourage you to take a look at that and get familiar with it. It's also worth mentioning that you can now register to volunteer for the games, and then we need like a truckload of volunteers, it takes about 3000 volunteers to pull this party off, and we have opportunities in sports, if sports aren't your thing, we have a bunch of other areas as well. You can register by date, or you can register by interest when you do your search there on seniorgames.net it's super easy to do. And when you register to volunteer, you'll be entered in a drawing for a brand new ebikes charge bike so don't forget that don't miss out on that. We want to remind you to tune in live next and every Thursday at 5:30pm Mountain Time on AM 1450 or FM 93.1 For the husband World Senior Games active life. We take this live show and turn it into a podcast, and you can subscribe pretty much anywhere the podcasts are found. If you happen to be listening by Podcast, take a moment, give us a rating and why to write a quick review, you can do that right here on your iPhone just by scrolling down to the bottom of your apple podcast app and shooting us some stars there. You can also find this as well as previous shows right on our website at Senior Games dotnet, so check that out. Today's inspiration of that comes from a Buddhist proverb. Okay are you ready,
This is deep. It's so good. It says, If you are facing the right direction. All you have to do is keep walking. Very true. Until next Thursday, stay active.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai