August 22, 2008

#31 Badminton

Malaysia is not known for its prowess as a sporting nation. In fact, it’s pretty hard to root for Malaysian athletes because you don’t get to see them progressing very far in tournaments or winning accolades. This is why Malaysian people watch foreign football leagues as opposed to the domestic one. But there is one sport where Malaysian people excel in and support fervently: Badminton.

Believe me when I say every Malaysian person ever born has tried their hand at Badminton at least once. There’s something inexplicable that draws Malaysian people to Badminton at an early age and inspires some to pursue professional careers. It could be the fact Badminton is easier to play and is less physically demanding than contact sports. Or perhaps it’s because deep down in the heart of each Malaysian parent lies the hope that their child could be the next great Malaysian Badminton player. Although Badminton may not be as athletically revered as Track & Field or Swimming, Malaysians have stuck with it and over the decades have produced a throng of Badminton prodigies who perplexingly burn out in their mid-twenties.

You might contend that Badminton is equally popular in Indonesia, China and maybe even Denmark, but I assure you no other country has as many aspiring Badminton players as Malaysia. For evidence of this, observe the burgeoning young talents who play Badminton with their neighbours over the fence or the out of shape average joe who fuels his Badminton fantasies every weekend at the neighbourhood court.

The recent Badminton Olympic final represented the pinnacle of Malaysian Badminton achievement. The nation rejoiced in anticipation of a long awaited Gold medal and the hype surrounding the event brought out the best in Malaysian people. Unfortunately, the final did not have a fairytale ending and this inevitably brought out the worst in Malaysian people. Cue the complaining and short term memory loss.

Nevertheless, being a professional Badminton player will always be on most Malaysian people’s dream job list along with Local Celebrity and Politician. In fact, being a successful Badminton player could pave a path into both those careers.


Anonymous said...

I've always wondered why M'sians are so into I know. 'cause you guys aren't good at anything else. But then even the one you guys claim to be good at, you can't win a gold for. However, since SG didn't win one either that makes it okay right?

Anonymous said...

Hey Malaysia boleh lah ok!!! We boleh do almost everything legal and illegal...hell if we cant get into the guinness book of records we will do our own Malysian book of records hahaha. Anyway I guess every country has a strong tendency to be great in at least one game/sport. Dont forget squash and......I give up hahaha Malaysia boleh...boleh Belah

siewkwan said...

Very well written. Actually the Badminton association should start scouting for new talents. I believe we'll do better in the future! :)

s kim said...

you HAVE to blog about this.

anitakrishlee said...

So true.

B.H. said...

Anonymous 1:12 am- I shall assume your question is rhetorical.

Anonymous 2:19 pm- In the Malaysian Book Of Records, the fact that a Malaysian Book Of Records exists would be no.1

Siewkwan- Thanks. We can only hope.

Skim- It was definitely on my to-do list. Thanks for assuring that it is of interest.

Anita- That's why it hurts.


Grace said...

yay! Congrats to Datuk Lee!! And we hope that we have many many Lee Chong Weis to come! :) It's too bad that there would not be any badminton Olympic medals to be won. :(

Poppy said...

"easier to play and is less physically demanding"

Dude, are you sure you are one a Malaysian who has tried his hand at it? Or just played with 6 year olds? I suggest playing a singles game even against a seasoned 50 year old to see if you aren't running from one end to the other and panting like a hunted gazelle at the end of one set, hamstrings and quads burning as you get smashed left, right and in the crotch (they're very accurate and have a sense of humor like that).

I put it to you that badminton is popular simply because the court uses a small space space and is one of the cheapest sports. Developers cannot look at a football field without writing checks and bringing their local development approval councillors to "massage spas" with glee.

zewt said...

nah, there have been ppl who have never held a racquet before.

generic viagra said...

Nice, this is one of some countries that just play soccer, like japan they play baseball and some other arts, in china... well martial arts specially, but it's nice to watch badminton although the ping pong it's better
Thanks for sharing.