Table Tennis champion joins JACL Millennium Club

June 11, 2009 at 8:37 am | Posted in APA News, fmori, JACL | Leave a comment

By JACL Press Office

When Floyd Mori, National Executive Director of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), met David Sakai at a function, Floyd was interested in David’s printing business because the JACL had some printing needs.  Floyd also invited David to join the JACL and provided a membership application.

David, of Bowie, Maryland, and his son in law, Paul Kaup, Senior Account Executive for the company of which David is owner, President, and CEO, came to the JACL office to discuss printing.  At the end of the meeting, David asked for more explanation of the various membership categories of the JACL and promptly joined the JACL Millennium Club.  A third generation Japanese American from Connecticut, David said he has not had a lot of interaction with other Japanese Americans in the past besides relatives and he wanted to get involved with the JACL.

A champion table tennis player who continues to play and compete even in his sixties, David has played table tennis competitively for over forty years.  He won at the 1964 U.S. Open and became the #2 U.S. Junior at the U.S. Open in 1965.  He says he has competed in every U.S. Open and National Table Tennis Championship in the last 36 years, and stated:  “I’ve lost more matches than anyone in history and probably won more matches than anyone as well.”  He was inducted into the U.S.A. Table Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004.

David was Vice-President of a newly formed Players Association and was among a number of players who boycotted and picketed the 1976 Philadelphia U.S. Open tournament.  Their point was to emphasize that there had to be a start at professional players playing for substantial sums of money in order for the sport to grow.  Six months later much more prize money was offered to the players.  David has been Sponsorship Agent for the United States Table Tennis Association (USTTA) and has been the USTTA Coaching Committee Chair.

In 1981 David began working for Moore Business Forms and became an award-winning salesman.  He continued with his table tennis and captained a U.S.A. Men’s Team at the 1982 U.S. Open.  He started his own printing business and became a successful businessman, but he kept up with his table tennis.

David and his wife Donna met through table tennis.  They won the mixed doubles championship at the U.S. Open in 1977.  They eventually married and have stopped playing competitively together. David continues to practice almost everyday to stay in top form and competes in approximately 35 tournaments each year.  Donna was inducted before David into the USA Table Tennis Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, where they also have a home.

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