Malaysian athlete and Sports Legend Lee Chong Wei retires after 19 years of playing top-notch badminton. He announced his retirement on June 13, 2019 (Thursday).
“My decision to retire is a heavy one. I really love this sport. But it is a demanding sport. I thank all Malaysians for the past 19 years.”
– Lee Chong Wei
Lee Chong Wei, now 36 years old and a father of 2, was a three-time Olympic silver medalist and a former world number one badminton player.
The Malaysian badminton player was diagnosed with early-stage nose cancer last year (2018). He initially took a break from competition last September for cancer treatment.
This year on January, Lee was decided in returning to training to get Malaysia its first gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
However, this dream was ended on a sad note when failed to make a comeback, his ranking going down to 191 in the world.
He sadly announced his retirement to a news conference last June 13, a Thursday. Expert doctors advised him that his body would not be able to take such intense training for high-class competition.
“It was a very heavy decision for me because I really love this sport, but the important thing now is my health.”
– Lee Chong Wei, before bursting into tears
Lee’s Badminton Career
Lee is actually one of Malaysia’s most popular and successful sportsmen.
In 2006, he achieved the feat of holding the number one ranking for about 248 weeks. Lee is also known for his intense rivalry with Chinese badminton player Lin Dan.
Lee’s Future Plans
Still, things end on a positive note. Lee will come to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics not as Malaysia’s number 1 candidate for bringing home an Olympic Golden medal, but as their chef de mission.
Lee also says that he will have a much-needed break. He plans on looking forward to life post-retirement, and will definitely take his wife on their long overdue honeymoon. Lee married her back in 2012.
“My career is like a rollercoaster, up-and-down, I think this is the time for me to take a rest, take my wife for a holiday.”
– Lee Chong Wei