By Maryam Spahic
Very recently, the game of badminton brought the whole nation together when Malaysian athletes gave it their all in Rio de Janeiro for none other than the 2016 Olympics games. Malaysians all across the globe despite differences in race and religion got together to support world’s top badminton player Dato’ Lee Chong Wei, and many other brilliant badminton players.
The nation went wild with tears of joy when Chong Wei defeated China’s Lin Dan at the semi-finals, his toughest rival who defeated him at the gold medal match in the previous two consecutive Olympics.
Malaysia was united once again at the finals for men singles and doubles, in which both games ended with silver medals. The nation, despite the eagerness for gold, remained supportive and appreciative of the athletes who had sacrificed tremendously in the name of their country.
Badminton has been Malaysia’s favourite sport since long ago, for the young and old of both genders. It has been played competitively in schools and clubs, or simply for fitness and fun. Almost everyone who has lived in Malaysia would have at least the slightest childhood memory of badminton; hilarious, fond and fun memories. Watching and supporting the Malaysian athletes at the Olympic games sure brought back so many of these memories.
Those who have played at least an hour’s worth of badminton game in their lifetime could probably relate to the following instances (particularly those who play for the fun of it):
1. The struggle with the net is real
You’re all ready and excited for a game of badminton with your neighbourhood friends on a Sunday evening. But then when it comes to setting up the net, all you can do is stare at it and ask yourself “how will I ever untangle this mess?” You try to untangle the net that was dumped in the box at the storage room anyway. Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you don’t, and sometimes you just give up so you end up playing with an invisible net.
2. Where’d the shuttlecock go?
Amidst a great game with your siblings in your backyard, you just had to hit it so high that it gets stuck on a tree. Or a roof. Here is where your creativity unveils. You’d stare at it from down below and start shaking the tree. Or throwing your racquet through the branches. On your unlucky days, the racquet too gets stuck. Keeping the shuttlecock safe while playing in the neighbourhood is probably more concerning than the actual game.
3. Blame it on the wind
When you start to realise that your opponent is winning, that’s when you bring on the weather factor. “It’s too windy, and I have to hit against the wind. That’s why I can’t serve properly.” “It’s too sunny, I can’t see where the shuttlecock is going.” We’ve all heard these kinds of excuses before, either coming from ourselves or the opponent. Out of the blue, everyone becomes a weatherman.
4. Teamwork gone wrong
When it comes to playing doubles, it can sometimes turn into a war; not with the opponent but with the partner. At times, both would go for the shuttlecock simultaneously, only to end up hitting each other’s racquets like you’re in a game of fencing instead. Other times, both players would not go for the shuttle at all and of course missing it instantly. After a quick look at the white set of feathers on the floor, both players would go “You were supposed to get that one!”
5. Unpleasantly paired
You’re all excited to play badminton during P.E. class only to be paired with someone who doesn’t really know how to play. You pity him or her for his or her struggles to serve but at the same time it’s starting to bore you to death. More often than not, you just want to have a great game, not simply win over the opponent.
The intense badminton games at the Olympics arena undoubtedly sparked the yearn to start playing badminton again for many of us. So let’s leave our gadgets for a little while and have a good game of badminton like the good old days with our family and friends, shall we?***
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