HOUSTON – Houston is aiming to do something that has never been done before in the United States.
On Monday, it was announced that Houston is bidding to host the 2021 World Table Tennis championships, an event that has never been held on American soil.
Houston's competition in the bidding process will be Morocco, which is the only other nation bidding to host.
The year 2021 will mark the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Table Tennis team’s visit to China for pingpong diplomacy, and China is endorsing Houston’s bid in 2021.
In return, USA Table Tennis is supporting China’s bid to host the 2022 world championships.
Among those supporting the collaborate bids from the U.S. and China are former Rockets and Chinese center Yao Ming, and Christopher Nixon Cox, the grandson of Richard Nixon, who was in office serving as president for the 1971 visit to China by the U.S. team.
The announcement of the host cities for each event will take place Monday in Budapest, Hungary.
“As the most diverse city in America, Houston has always been on the forefront when it comes bringing international events to the United States," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a statement. "What better way to celebrate 50 years of diplomacy between these two great countries than to support each other in these back-to-back bids? Yao Ming was once given the key to our city, and with the guidance and leadership of the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority, we are very proud to see that he is using that key to help unlock the next 50 years of diplomacy right here in Houston, Texas.”