Top Spin: Documentary Movie Review

In the fun documentary Top Spin, mycarscent three highly dedicated American high school students (Ariel Hsing, Lily Zhang, and Michael Landers) work toward attending the Olympics in competitive table tennis. While other children are adjusting to the intellectual and societal demands of elementary school, kids hoping to compete in table tennis at the Olympics begin rigorous training by the age of ten. Physical exercise, ping pong practice, akunprorusia sporting strategy, and psychological stamina need to be added to their already busy schedules of attending school, doing homework, and hanging out with friends. Olympic training is not for wimps. semar128

Young Athletes: Ariel, Lily, and Michael

The film follows two teenaged California girls (Ariel and Lily), verduurzamendeurne who are friends and rivals trained by the same coach. Ariel (16 in the film) ranks number one in the country, followed by Lily (15) in second place. Ariel’s slightly advanced skill and confidence may be the result of that difference between their ages, but that may level off at some point. Michael (17), spintenniscoacha New York resident and local celebrity at Spin (a New York City ping pong social club/restaurant), who at age 15 won the national singles championship, has endorsement deals lined up if he advances to the Olympics. antminet

Through explanations of technique, slow motion photography, and archival footage, we witness the incredible skill level of these young athletes, along with hints of their personal struggles. The documentary takes a look at the teens when they were children first getting started with table tennis, ufa88myanmar but focuses mostly on the months of tough preliminary competitions leading up to the 2012 Olympics. We see the sacrifices the kids make for their sport, such as studying online instead of in class, missing their friends and families while away, and working through the pain of injuries, sore muscles, and fatigue.

Competitive Table Tennis and the Olympics

The parents also express their opinions: how they feel about their child’s talent, crosstrainer-kaufen the pressures involved, the compromises they’ve made, and what the future may hold for them. After building up tension for the important Olympics scenes – which are quite exciting to watch – the documentary wraps up nicely with updates on what the teens have done since the film was shot.

Though table tennis is not nearly as popular or respected in the United States as it is in China, and the sport has far fewer competitive players, fans, and sponsors in America, that could change as this intriguing film shines the spotlight on the pain and pleasure of hitting that tiny plastic ball, askanadviser and makes us care about the individual players.

Top Spin


  • This documentary examines three U.S. high school students competing for a place on the 2012 Olympic team for table tennis.
  • Starring Ariel Hsing, Michael Landers, Lily Zhang
  • Director: Sarah Newens, Mina T. Son sgmytrips
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Not Rated
  • Additional Information: Screened in Family Programming Films during its Southeast Premiere at 2015 Florida Film Festival.


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