David Goin

Goin tables the competition in National Senior Games

Local octogenarian proves his mettle in pingpong


Some people golf, others enjoy bowling, but David Goin really enjoys playing table tennis. He likes the game so much that he has worked at qualifying for the National Senior Games in the event every two years since 2001. This year, he competed in the 80-84 age group and earned two gold and one bronze medal at the Iowa Seniors Games held in Des Moines, but he really qualified for the national competition in June of 2014.  

Nineteen sports were contested in the National Senior Games that were held in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Bloomington, Minnesota July 3-16 this year. The games were touted as the largest multi-sport event in the world for senior men and women age 50 and older.

David qualified for three events at nationals, but his partners in the doubles and mixed doubles competitions could not go, so he went online to find others who had qualified in other states, and were needing a partner also. His mixed double partner was Mary Shum from California. Mary was actually 87, but they allowed her to play in the 80-84 group with Goins. The duo finished fourth in the mixed doubles competition. David also needed a partner in the men’s doubles, so he again searched the internet and found Tom Dautenhaun from Lima, Ohio. The two paired up for a bronze 3rd place medal. They actually beat the pair that won the gold, but had more losses in the round robin competition. Goin also placed eighth out of the 20 state qualifiers in the singles competition.

David doesn’t practice a lot while in Jefferson, but he occasionally goes to Des Moines where there is a table tennis club. He and his wife Lois spend their winters in Lady Lake, Florida, and there are many suitable opponents in that area, so he plays almost every day.  “Table tennis is a vigorous sport if you want to play competitively,” said Goin. “It is as much mental as physical, and it is great for eye-hand coordination. I have tried learning some new strategies by watching others, and I think that has improved my game.”

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