Famous Badminton Players
Originating in the mid-1700s and officially made an Olympic sport in 1992, badminton is a game that continues to gain popularity in countries the world over, particularly in Malaysia, Indonesia and China. This competitive racquet sport requires quick reflexes, outstanding coordination, accurate timing and some fancy footwork. However, as with any other sport, some players are able to combine these skills with a natural aptitude that makes them the best of the best, earning them a spot among the most famous badminton players to ever hit the court.
No list of the best badminton players, either past or present, is complete without the name of Rudy Hartono Kurniawan. Of Chinese-Indonesian descent, this remarkable badminton player won the All-England Championship trophy eight times throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the World Championship for men’s singles in 1980 and four Thomas Cup team championships for Indonesia, to name only a few. Denmark’s Morten Frost Hansen remained among the top three badminton players in the world for a period of 12 years during his career, which spanned the years from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s. Known as “Mr. Badminton,” he has an extensive and impressive record of championship wins and is renowned for his grace and agility. Also hailing from Denmark is Peter Gade who won a grand total of 16 Grand Prix titles and was ranked the world’s number-one player from 1998 to 2001.
Of course, not all of the most famous badminton players are men. Worthy of mention among this elite group is China’s Zhang Ning, a women’s singles player who won the gold medal in the Olympics in both 2004 and 2008. Currently holding the number-one spot in men’s singles is Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei, while China’s Wang Yihan currently holds that position in the women’s singles category. Some other famous players who deserve mention are Lee Chong Wei, Lin Dan, Taufik Hidayat, Liem Swie King, Cai Yun and Yu Yang.
While all of these badminton players have made notable achievements, there are many others with equally successful careers in the sport. Each player has made unique contributions to badminton through practice, perseverance, talent and personal style, bringing the game out of the world of backyard family entertainment and into the realm of worldwide competitive sports.