Chinese badminton legend ‘Super Dan’ retires
BEIJING — China’s badminton legend Lin Dan announced his retirement on Saturday, ending his two-decade career in the Chinese national badminton team.
The 36-year-old veteran made the retirement announcement through his personal Weibo account, and related topics had been viewed over 50 million times on Weibo within an hour, becoming the top trending sports news.
“From 2000 to 2020, that’s an entire 20 years. It’s time for me to say goodbye to the Chinese national team. And it’s actually so hard for me to make the announcement,” the two-time Olympic gold medalist wrote.
“As a veteran of nearly 37 years of age, my physical strength and injuries will not allow me to fight with my teammates anymore. I’m grateful, but I’m reluctant to say goodbye. There are also regrets. In the future, I wish to spend more time with my family and find new ‘courts’ for other competitions in my life.
“I’m grateful for my country that nurtured me, my coaches who trained me, my family who always stayed with me, my fans who support me and my great opponents on the court who encouraged me to be better. I wish to tell all of you who are chasing dreams to stay hungry. Make your best efforts and go fight for your dreams.”
Known as “Super Dan”, Lin is considered one of the greatest badminton players in history. His legendary career includes two Olympic gold medals (in 2008 and 2012), five World Championship titles (in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013), five Sudirman Cup golds (in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2015) and six Thomas Cup titles (in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2018), let alone more than a dozen medals in the Asian Games and Asian Championships.
Fans were hoping to see Lin in the Tokyo Olympics, which has been postponed to the summer of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Lin couldn’t extend his career any longer.
“I was super excited and proud to become a member of the Chinese national team back in 2000,” said Lin. “My family, coaches and teammates stayed with me through the highlights and doldrums of my career. My every jump is my thirst to victory.
“I’ve been through four Olympics and I never thought about quitting before. I devoted my everything to the sport I love. I always tell myself to keep going in every struggle in my career. I wish my life in sports could be longer. Instead of having better rankings, in recent years, I just wanted to push my limits as a veteran and to practice the spirit in sports of never giving up.”