I never actually spoke to Deng Yaping but I watched her win two of her four Olympic gold medals and several of her other gold or silver medals at World Championships and World Cups. When she retired at the age of 24, she had won more titles than any other player in the sport and was voted Chinese female athlete of the century.
After her retirement Deng gained a bachelor's degree from Tsinghua University, a master's degree from the University of Nottingham, and in 2006 studied for a PhD. in Land Economy at Jesus College Cambridge. She was professionally involved in marketing, management and development of the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a member of the Beijing Organizing Committee.
It is pleasant to reflect that Ivor Montagu, the Communist youngest son of a Jewish peer, was also at Cambridge (though not at Jesus) when he first played pingpong. It was he who made Deng's sporting career possible, for he had a leading role in popularizing the sport by establishing and financing the first world championships in London in 1926 and initiating the creation of the International Table Tennis Federation, serving as its first president for 41 years until 1967.