Following the 1929 stock market crash, the “fashionable” sport of ping-pong in France took advantage of the European crisis and international restructuring to recruit foreign players and promote the image of table tennis as a legitimate sport. During a period in which hygiene and eugenics were promoted through the practice of collective and orderly gymnastics, table tennis was a driving force behind a shift in French physical culture. Modern representations of sport are analyzed through the corporal values conveyed (speed and sweat), which contributed to the adoption of a more energetic lifestyle that was still uncommon in French physical culture. Moreover, the transformation of ping-pong into a sport between 1932 and 1933 was also visible in the display of the standardization of its equipment, the work of the written press, and manufacturers and retailers, even if the latter sometimes used it as a simple promotional technique.

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