It is not for the lack of world class facilities, dedicated athletes and capital expenditures that have sunk the SS Lusofonia in Macau. It seems to be apathy about seeing who will prevail in the first (and maybe last) competition for players from Portuguese speaking countries: Angola, Brazil, Timor, Mozambique, Macau, Portugal and a few others. I counted 12 flags, half of which were new to me….Now I know how Bush must have felt prior to his election. I went to the Taekwondo finals where there were more competitors than spectators (even the parents headed for the casinos), but was not deterred. I figured that Ping Pong, being a Chinese blood sport, would draw a better crowd, so I headed over to the mixed doubles finals. I was oddly encouraged by the sight of two ambulances and a fire truck: Was there the possibility of stampedes for autographs or perhaps a ball or two hit with enough backspin that they might burst into flame? LUSOFONIA PING PONG The men’s semi-finals were in full swing when I arrived. LUSOFONIA

One of the world class bad boys did a Brandy Chastain and took off his shirt after a close game with a Portuguese team member. Whew, these guys must pump iron one or two times a month! LUSOFONE PING PONG

The crowd went wild as he continued on to beat his rival. Naked Ping Pong

I guess now I understand why the PR director never returned my calls or emails about a press pass. He had way too much to do…


by Lonnie Hodge


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