Boris Johnson's remarks about the Olympics made me laugh. It is easy to forget exactly how intelligent and what a polymath the current mayor of London is. I rather suspect that he did not have to do any research to come up with the remark.
According to various sources, ping pong or table tennis originates in after dinner entertainment during the late Victorian period. Best guess sometime in the early 1880s. It was cigar boxes, champagne corks, a line of books across a card table. I also suspect rather a lot was drunk in order to get the proper supply of champagne corks. The Drones club approach to sport as it were... But look what it has evolved into.
And it is interesting to speculate if the early pioneers of table tennis ever imagined that it would become an Olympic sport. Equally if any of the horrified Aunts and other onlookers of tender sensibilities thought it would.