The aim of the paper is to investigate ping–pong diplomacy between the Unites States and China, which was used by both countries as a diplomatic tool, aimed at achieving political rapprochement despite ideological dissonance and conflict over Taiwan. Both governments were seeking a way to establish closer relations but the circumstances prevented them from traditional diplomatic contacts. Sports exchange proved to be a convenient solution. In the paper the Author attempts to verify a hypothesis on a subsequent legacy of the ping–pong diplomacy in American foreign policy. The study allowed to determine reasons for the need to employ sport in order to establish closer relations between two hostile actors of international relations. It is an attempt to answer a question concerning the intentional or coincidental character of the analysed sports exchange. The paper is an empirical case study on one of the prime examples of positive sports diplomacy and was conducted with the use of decision–making.