JO Waldner 50th birthday party

Original article in the Afton Bladet News, Sports Bladet Section – See full original (in Swedish)
Translation through Google, Edited by Steve Hopkins

Stjärnklart at the JO Waldner 50th birthday party

Stenmark: “He’s had a great career”

Jan-Ove Waldner turned 50 – then it became a star-filled chorus of praise.

Ingemar Stenmark, Tomas Brolin, Alexander Noren and Anders Limpar celebrating the tennis legend.

A ship was not over-loaded, a charter boat that had landed at Strandvägen in Stockholm. There he stood, Jan-Ove Waldner, with a glass of champagne in hand as he welcomed the guests.

One celebrity after another stepped on board – Stenmark (Alpine Ski), Brolin (Futbol), Limpar (Futbol), Jesper Blomqvist (Futbol), Mikael Appelgren (Table Tennis), Jörgen Persson (Table Tennis), Erik Lindh (Table Tennis) … And in the small hours expected a certain Bjorn Borg (Tennis) to join the festivities, which would include nearly 50 people.

– It’s been a great day and so it shall continue. Here we go as long as we can, says the Honoree as he raises the glass.

At sea with family

Before the boat, the M/S Molly, landed at the wharf he had been at sea with mother Marianne, big brother Kjell-Ake and family, and manager Mattias Frisk and his companion Ankie Bagger.

– We went with the boat for three hours and had enormous luck with the weather, he says Sportbladet, who carried a special framed placard.

– Thank you, what fun! 

He carries a framed picture of JO at just twelve years old, but the child then had already debuted in the top division. It was taken in 1977 and since then, JO Waldner has built a track record that no other table tennis player can match.

Delighted with Gerell

The gift table was soon filled, and he received an unexpected gift delivered by Pär Gerell, who had made it to the semifinals in the European Table Tennis Championships and secured the first Swedish male medal since 2000, when Peter Karlsson won the championship.

– I heard he wrote on Facebook that he would honor me by going far in the Championship. That was really written, and he played really strong to knock out (Andrei) Gacina, who is an incredibly good player, says J-O.

Decent bonus gift, huh?

– Yes, it’s great fun. Table Tennis needs all the success. Pär has fought for many years and a medal is always a medal, says Jan-Ove Waldner.

He, if anyone, should know.


What is your strongest memory of JO Waldner?

 “It must be the Olympic gold in 1992. Yes, he did in 1992 is the highlight for me – and it is enough for him, too. ”

Anders Limpar, 50, football legends

“When I was little, we played a lot of ping-pong in the recreation centers, and when JO played had to watch the games in the classroom. The titles around 1990 and Olympic gold in 1992, is the biggest, but I have a very strong and long memory of the Ombudsman. It was really great for me to play golf with him, but I think he’s playing from the wrong direction. Yes, he would play from the forehand side. He believes himself that he is good at golf, but he is not. He is very much better at tennis. “

Alexander Noren, 33, the golf legends


“When me and my friend ‘Grönis’, who is also here in the evening, come to the tramway after playing at a club in Södermalm. It was the first time I saw him and his brother (Kjell-Ake). He was 7-8 years and reached almost up to the table. Yes, he drove tennis serves in the beginning. There is a fairly strong memory, and since then we have been together. There is a long friendship. Then you have his Olympic gold, of course, when he won the World Championship gold without setförlust 1997 when we beat China 5-0. Although table tennis is an individual sport, it is great to win in the law. “

Mikael Appelgren, 53, tennis legends


“I have many memories of this man, not just on the tennis court. We have been on the trot and had soccer games and stuff. 1989, when they beat China 5-0, was great. No one thought it was possible, and that was when it went in again. In 1992, we were both on the OS, and that’s when it clicked between us. We became friends for life. I have beaten him in table tennis sometime, when he has played with the left. JO has the ball in, but he did not step to play football, so to speak. I had major tennis talent than he had football talent. Yes, the faith hell, it.

Tomas Brolin, 45, football legends

“I do not know. He’s had a great career, but I can not think of any specific thing now. “

Ingemar Stenmark, 59, ski legends


“When I beat him in the SM-finals of the boys Bs in Sundsvall in 1978. He sat and cried afterwards, and it is the only time I’ve seen him cry. It is, I damn pleased. Afterwards I saw the ‘Guns of Navarone’ at the movies. I was only 12 years, but the coach who was with me, Lasse Holmqvist, fixed me. ‘What the hell, he has won championships.’ I remember that so damn well. It was the first time we met, and it would be a few more times after that.

Jörgen Persson, 49, tennis legends