Kit and Marisol, like many other table tennis couples are from different parts of the world. He hails from Thailand, while she grew up in Peru and moved to the States as a teenager. Brought together by the passion they share for their sport, this dynamic duo has been at the top of Florida table tennis for many years, and still enjoys traveling for tournaments together. This is their story.
Where did you first meet?
Marisol: We met at a Table tennis club near the University of Tampa. Sadly this club is now closed.
Tell us the story of how you met?
Kit: She came in with her whole family (sis, bro, mom and dad). All the children played TT. They were all decked out in Butterfly apparel so I knew they were serious. She was only 16 at the time and spoke no English. In addition, she never smiled so it didn’t look like she was having fun. Even though we practiced at the same club for many years and she didn’t speak to me until one day after a match with her, she invited me to her high school graduation.
Marisol: We met briefly when I came to America. I remember him clearly because he was wearing red shorts, was a good player and had good personality. We both played at the Clearwater club, I would see him at least once a week. He was a fun guy to interact with and when practice was over I was always looking forward for the next weekend to see him.
How long have you been together?
Marisol: 7 years and 4 months
How long have you been playing table tennis?
Kit: 35 years.
Marisol: 12 years.
At what point did you know that he/she was, “THE ONE”?
Kit: In our 2nd year of dating, I knew she was the one when she quit University of Florida and forfeited her scholarship to go to University of S. Florida so we could be closer. Fortunately she was granted a full ride again. It showed me that she was serious about the relationship. From that point on, I knew she was THE ONE – In our 5th year together, I proposed to her.
Marisol: It was around the time I started college. Any available time I had I wanted to spend it with him. Or I would find myself rushing to the library to check any emails that I may have received from him. During my time in college he was the only guy in my eyes and I knew that he would be the one for me.
Do you ever play against each other?
Kit: Yes, we played in a few tournaments against each other prior to dating. She was so serious and wouldn’t even smile. She did eventually win one of the matches, (I kinda let her win even though it cost me 40 rating points) BUT IT WAS WELL WORTH IT 🙂
Marisol: Yes, but is very hard to play against him because he tries to distracts me and he knows my weak points so well.
Who usually wins and why?
Kit: I usually win like 99% of the time because she can’t block my loops.
Marisol: Unfortunately, he does. His loops are too powerful for me 🙂
Does the competitiveness ever go home with you and if so, how do you deal with it?
Kit: She doesn’t like to compete outside of sports so after table tennis the competition ends. I think it is because she is more relaxed than me. I like to compete at everything even if it is flipping a coin. So, she balances me out very well.
Marisol: Not really. We don’t really compete against each other at home. Win or lose it never leaves the table. We use our competitiveness to fight obstacles in our life together.
Can you tell us one advantage and one disadvantage of being a table tennis couple?
Kit: Advantage: We can train together. The real advantage of being together while doing something you love with somebody you love.
Disadvantage: We can train together. I find myself less patient when training someone I love as I guess I set expectations so high.
Marisol: Advantage: We get to spend quality time together while we are enjoying a sport that we both love. And if we have to go to a tournament that is not local we can even make the trip like a mini vacation.
Disadvantage: If I lose or don’t play well in a tournament, I tend to be upset and sometimes that bad energy affects him in matches too.
Has being in table tennis as a couple helped your relationship and if so why?
Kit: Yes, because we spend more time together especially when training. During this time we are pretty much inseparable.
Marisol: I think so. It helps us bond a little bit more because we can talk about our wins or defeats. It also gives us a common ground because we share the same values when it comes to table tennis. We also get to meet great people as a couple.
What advice can you give other table tennis couples that are just starting a relationship?
Kit: Don’t get frustrated with one another. Don’t lose sight of having fun while also getting a workout. Don’t TRAIN each other. Get a coach!
Marisol: We have been married for two years and I think is important to spend quality time together while you both enjoy something you love. Also whether you are in a tournament or just living your life – when times get tough, you should be there for each other. Don’t give up and encourage each other to do better.