Next year athletes from around the world will gather in Paris, France to participate in the Olympic Games. Believe it or not to reach that prestigious competition some of the participants will have to earn that honor by claiming victory in West Monroe, Louisiana.

What, West Monroe, Louisiana didn't jump to the top of your mind as soon as you read the word Olympics? That's okay because I didn't think of it either. But what do you think about when you hear the words, West Monroe?

Duck Dynasty
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For a lot of us, there is a connection between that town and the Duck Dynasty guys. I think they still have a restaurant there. Another topic that folks brought up when we mentioned West Monroe was high school football. I do seem to recall they play a pretty staunch brand of ball in that part of the state as well.

But, the sport that will bring fame and glory to athletes who compete in West Monroe next year will not be the big bruisers of the gridiron. Many of these athletes will be of a much smaller and slighter build. You'll recognize them by their ability to focus and concentrate and their cat-like reflexes. That's because the Olympic sport that is holding its trials in West Monroe is the sport of Table Tennis. 

The 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials for Table Tennis and the U.S. Junior National Table Tennis Team Trials will be held in March of 2024. The specific dates are March 19-31. The event will be hosted by Discover Monroe, the city of West Monroe, and the West Monroe Sports and Events Center. 

Organizers say about 100 athletes will compete for a chance to be a part of the Olympic Games in Paris, also being held next year. Also, another 250 or so athletes will compete for a position on the U.S. Junior National Team.

The event is expected to bring some $700,000 to $1,000,000 in economic impacts to the local economy, so it will be a good thing all the way around. In addition to food and beverages purchased for the event organizers say hotel rooms will around the area will also be filled as athletes and fans arrive in town before and during the event.

Not-So-Nice Nicknames for 10 Louisiana Towns

Nicknames are a wonderful thing if you happen to be given the right one. That's the problem with nicknames, you don't get to pick your own. So, depending on the kind of people you hang out with your pseudonym is either a flattering referral to a trait you own. Or it's a sarcastic reminder of your shortcomings. The same rules apply when it comes to the nicknames we use for the communities we love. Although, from some of these nicknames, I'm not sure I can feel the love tonight, or any night for that matter.

Gallery Credit: Bruce Mikells