Nico Caltabiano: Table Tennis Umpire Selected for Paris Olympics

Table Tennis Umpire Nico Caltabiano Achieves Dreams-Come-True Moment with Paris Olympics Selection

Nico Caltabiano, a table tennis umpire based in Geneva, Switzerland, is one of only 20 umpires selected from around the world to officiate at the upcoming Paris Olympics. This achievement marks a significant milestone in Nico’s umpiring journey, which began years ago as a way to avoid arguments with his son Artur, who was a player and his coach.

Nico, who holds a PhD in oceanography and works for the World Meteorological Organisation, never had a table tennis background in his native Brazil. However, his involvement in the sport as a parent led him to pursue umpiring, initially starting at the county level and gradually climbing the ranks to become an International and Blue Badge umpire.

“When I heard the news of the selection, well, it’s a dreams-come-true moment, very exciting,” said Nico. “It’s the pinnacle of an umpire’s career to be at the Olympics.”

Nico’s umpiring experience has taken him to various high-profile tournaments, including the Europe Top 16 in Montreux and the recent Saudi Smash. He believes he has officiated matches involving most of the world’s top players, and he is eager to potentially umpire matches featuring Chinese players, as he anticipates a large and enthusiastic crowd.

According to Nico, the key qualities that have aided his progression include enjoying the experience, being open-minded to different cultures, and maintaining a friendly yet firm approach with all participants, from top players to ballboys and ballgirls. He emphasizes the importance of being knowledgeable and the ability to “close yourself in the court and you don’t hear anything else.”

While Nico never envisioned becoming an umpire, let alone officiating at the Olympics, he enthusiastically recommends the journey to others, highlighting the unique perspective umpires have and the opportunity to meet people from diverse backgrounds and make lasting friendships.

Praise from Table Tennis England

Chris Newton, the General Secretary of the Technical Officials Committee at Table Tennis England, praised Nico’s growth and willingness to mentor younger umpires, stating, “We are so pleased that he has been selected to represent England at the Paris Olympics.”

Table tennis enthusiasts can look forward to seeing Nico Caltabiano, the accomplished umpire from Geneva, officiate some of the most thrilling matches at the 2024 Paris Olympics, as he fulfills his dreams-come-true moment on the world’s biggest sporting stage.

🔗 Source