Born in Los Angeles, California, Kim began her table tennis career at the age of 14. She quickly mastered the game under the coaching of Japan's Norikazu "Cannonball" Fujii, who was a former world table tennis champion. Kim soon became a junior champion and by the age of 17 she began training internationally and was also selected to live and train at the U.S. Olympic Training Centers in Colorado Springs CO, Lake Placid NY, and Marquette MI. With an aggressive all out attack style of play, Kim consistently ranked in the Top 12 U.S. Women for several years during the eighties and early nineties. She won several gold medals at U.S. Olympic Festivals from 1982-1991 and was considered one of America's most promising sports stars. Kim holds numerous state and national titles, and still holds the record of the fastest reflexes ever recorded at any U.S. Olympic Festival by any athlete in any sport, which was featured on ESPN in 1986.
While Kim was training for the 1992 Olympic Trials she suffered a severe shattered right arm in an accident which forced her to end her career. She didn't touch a paddle for 18 years until 2010 when she was invited to the grand opening of SPiN Hollywood (owned by Susan Sarandon). She tried to play again and to her own amazement was able to play very well. She was quickly offered an event hosting position at SPiN Hollywood and started training at the Gilbert Table Tennis Center to hone her skills once again. With her recent success in competition, she secured corporate sponsorship which now supports her tour of competitions, special events, arena exhibitions, sports festivals, and fundraisers. In 2012, Kim Gilbert qualified for and finished in the Top 12 Women at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trails!
In 2015, Ms. Gilbert was named as an Ambassador to the United States Association of Table Tennis and is considered the backbone of marketing and promotions for her sport. Kim has been blazing new trails ever since and is currently the CEO of Pongstarz where she headlines and produces ping-pong themed corporate and celebrity events and fundraisers worldwide. To date, Kim Gilbert and Pongstarz have helped raise over $15 million for charity since 2012. Some of her clients and event partners include Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers, Terrence Howard, Chris Paul, Jamie Foxx, and numerous other celebrities and sports stars. As the CEO of Pongstarz (based in Los Angeles), Kim also produces national fundraisers for the American Cancer Society, LAUSD, NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL.
2014 Ping Pong 4 Purpose benefitting Kershaw's Challenge at Dodger Stadium