WUFT News

Retired Gainesville doctor competes in table tennis

By on November 20th, 2012

Dressed in his red and blue Pan-American Game shirt, Orange Park’s Stuart Caplin looked a little different that the other players at the University of Florida’s Gator Invitational table tennis tournament.

Caplin is a retired doctor, has four kids and happens to be a table tennis pro. He also happens to play sitting down, in a wheelchair. Caplin has polio.

But playing in a chair has not stopped Caplin’s success. This summer in Grand Rapids, Mich., Caplin took first place in the para table tennis men’s division at the US Open.

“I play wheelchair, so I played in the wheelchair event,” said Caplin. “I also played in doubles in the under 3,600 event. Myself and my partner, we play in wheelchairs. We came in second. Against everyone else who was standing. I thought that was pretty good.”

And others notice Caplin’s success sitting down, too, including the president of the University of Florida Table Tennis Club.

“Stuart and I attend a lot of the same tournaments in Florida. Lakeland mainly. I believe Stuart has been on the paralympic team for the United States multiple times,” said Kyle Moyant.

Caplin says he shares table tennis with his whole family.

“Since I was a kid. I played my dad for my allowance. Not only that, I share it with my whole family: four children, and all of them play. My wife plays. I have a seven-year-old grandson who I’m teaching how to play. It’s a fun sport.”

Because of his love for the sport, Caplin corrects those who refer to table tennis as ping pong.

“You have the difference between ping pong and table tennis. In ping pong, I believe that most people are hitting the ball with no spin. Straight on with a flat racket. In table tennis, you use all different types of speed, all different types of spin. Top spin, under spin, an advance shot called the loop — which is side top,” said Caplin.

He also said polio does not stop him from playing the sport he’s loved a lifetime.

“It’s something I do well. It’s something I play well. I like the exercise. I enjoy being competitive at my age.”

Caplin did not win the Gator Invitational, but he says he takes the wins with the losses.  His spirit is still high.

“I lost. I lost. I got some points, but I lost. But the thing is, I can compete against people who are standing up. That’s what I like.”


This entry was posted in Local, Sports, University of Florida and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • http://twitter.com/ThePongcast The Pongcast

    Thanks for doing this piece on Stu & table tennis, great job! It was nice (briefly) meeting you at the tournament – Jason

  • Forest Black

    In this related video we find Hussein Obama preaching the dramatic raising of electricity prices to attack the financial situation of the middle class: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlTxGHn4sH4&feature=youtu.be&t=30s

 

More Stories in Local

Lisa Lee Savage has experienced substance abuse and served time in prison. With help from local homeless shelter GRACE Marketplace, though, she overcame those challenges to make a new life for herself. Photo courtesy of Lisa Lee Savage

Saving Grace: One Woman’s Story Of Overcoming Adversity

Lisa Lee Savage was a substance abuser and she broke the rules, but she also overcame adversity. Now, she works as an administrative assistant and receptionist at the GRACE Welcome Center.


IMG_1999

Tornado Damages Homes Near Ocala Monday

More than 50 homes were damaged in two separate neighborhoods southwest of Ocala Monday afternoon as severe thunderstorms rolled through.


Cars drive past the filled-in potholes and cracks. Permanent road repairs are not expected until after July 2016. Ronnie Socash / WUFT News

No Immediate Fix for SW 62nd Boulevard Road Conditions

Despite continual repairs to Southwest 62nd Boulevard, commuters will still have to drive along the road’s potholes and “alligator cracks” until it is reconstructed in 2016. Once a project development and environment study is completed, the city of Gainesville can work on a $45.2 million project that will turn Southwest 62nd Boulevard from a two-lane road into a four-lane road.


UF football player JC Jackson was arrested yesterday for his involvement in an armed Robbery on Saturday.  He is currently in the ASO jail on a $150,000 bond.

UF Football Player Arrested After Armed Robbery, Released On $150,000-Bond

University of Florida football player J.C. Jackson has been released on $150,000-bond. Jackson was arrested Monday after turning himself in for his involvement in an armed robbery.


Scott Camil, 68, points to a cartoon depicting himself and other members of the Gainesville Eight at their trial. The original cartoon was given to him by the artist, Bill Day. The Gainesville Eight was the name given to a group of anti-Vietnam war protestors charged with conspiracy to disrupt the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami.

Vietnam War Veteran Rejects Violence, Embraces Peace

Vietnam War veteran Scott Camil once believed the war to be right and honorable. Now, Camil is the founder of Gainesville Veterans for Peace, an organization that partners with other organizations around the area to promote peace.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments