Thall-Neuberger was ranked the third table tennis player
in the world
in 1951. The United States’ greatest
women’s table tennis player, of whom
the New York Times once wrote “Her
paddle is her passport,” Thall-Neuberger
won the World Mixed Doubles
Championship in 1956 with teenager Erwin Klein.
In 1980, she
was elected a
charter member of the Table Tennis
Hall of Fame.
Leah captured 29 National titles between
1949 and 1974—9 Singles, 12
Doubles, 8 Mixed Doubles. She also
won 41 Canadian championships, including
11 Singles titles.
In 1971, she accompanied the
Canadian table tennis team on its historic
Ping-Pong Diplomacy Tour to
the People’s Republic of China. The
only American in the Canadian entourage
and the first U.S. citizen in
decades to visit China and speak face
to face with Chinese premier Chou
En-lai, her chat sparked a series of
events that led to the ending of the
U.S.-China Cold War.