ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Carol Klenfner, 74, had a whirlwind career working among rock stars, handling PR for people like Elton John, the Rolling Stones, and The Who. Now, she’s rockin’ it on the ping pong table.
“It’s opened up my life,” said Klenfner. It all started a few years ago when her life started to crumble. “I had been widowed, I lost my job, a few months after that.”
Klenfner was also dealing with health issues. “I had to figure out what I wanted to do to fill up my life and my time,” Klenfner said.
So, she took up table tennis. “I started playing with a friend recalling our old days in the basement, you know, with the ping pong table,” she said.
Then she went on to play for a women’s league and the fire within her grew. “I realized it would be a lot more fun if I could win once and a while,” said Klenfner.
She got a coach and became a competitor. “As I got better it did become more fun, and now I’m playing at the National Senior Games. Anything’s possible.”
Thursday, Klenfner and her partner in a younger age group competed in the women’s 65 to 69 doubles and won. “It’s so much fun. It’s a little nerve-racking, I gotta be honest, but it’s really fun,” she said.
She said she wonders if, in a way, the sport saved her life, and she hopes her story inspires others. “I just encourage everybody to get off the couch and moving. It’s never too late,” said Klenfner.
Klenfner will compete in her age group on Saturday playing in the table tennis women’s 70 to 74 singles.