Dare to be a Champion
Author: Lee Chong Wei
Publisher: Bukuganda Digital & Publication
‘To maintain this ranking, I must get up at five o’clock every morning and press on repeatedly with sweat and tears.’
‘As an athlete, you must always bear in mind that your opponents will never let the grass grow under their feet, so you cannot afford to relax even a bit in training.’
While the memories are still fresh over the 2016 Olympic badminton men’s singles final between Chen Long from China and Lee Chong Wei from Malaysia, the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games are already opening next summer, and it’s time to enter the Olympic qualification stage, where top badminton players around the world strive to secure a place in the competition.
Malaysian badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei publicly announced that he had been suffering from nasopharyngeal cancer last year. Although he has since recovered, the triple silver medallist at the Olympic Games is now 36 years old, and next year’s Olympics is likely to be his last one. With his chances of participation hanging in the balance, it will be sad to see Lee calling it a day without competing in this next Olympic Games.
Looking at his career statistics, Lee Chong Wei has won countless championships, and has been ranked the world’s number one for an unprecedented record of 350 weeks in total. In addition to the Olympics, however, Lee somehow has never won a championship title in many major badminton tournaments, including the World Championships, Thomas Cup, Sudirman Cup and Asian Games. Being labelled the ‘Uncrowned King of Badminton’, he might have even been trying to ridicule himself by naming his autobiography published in 2012 Dare to be a Champion.
When Dare to be a Champion was published, Lee was about to compete in the 2012 London Olympics. At that time, could he have expected to live with the fate of playing second fiddle not only in that Olympics, but also in the following Rio Olympics? In any case, it is no small feat for a player to win an Olympic medal for Malaysia, which is by no means a sports superpower. As a three-time Olympic silver medallist, Lee truly does deserve to be considered a national hero.
In Dare to be a Champion, Lee recounted his extraordinary experiences during the first half of his life. Although a badminton racket was almost considered a luxury during his poor childhood upbringing, Lee’s passion for badminton did not abate one bit. Regardless of leaving his home for training, competing in foreign countries or facing fierce rivals, his wholehearted enthusiasm made him a formidable competitor who never gives up.