Chinese badminton superstar Lin Dan says his preparations for the 2012 London Olympics will not delay his plans to marry former world champion Xie Xingfang.
Lin, viewed by many as the best badminton player ever, last month secured a long-coveted gold medal at the Asian Games to go with his world and Olympic titles.
His sporting legacy secured, the 27-year-old Lin says he is ready to focus on other things, raising the possibility of a marriage before the London Summer Games.
"I have sacrificed so much to play badminton at the expense of my family, girlfriend and friends. Now, I feel my family and friends are just as important as the sport," Lin told the China Daily in comments published Friday.
"I won’t postpone the marriage simply because of the London Olympics. I have experienced a lot and I know how to do everything," he said.
"I am considering getting married before the London Games and I am making efforts towards that."
Lin’s romance with Xie, a silver medallist at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, has been an intense media topic in China with millions of adoring fans eager to know the couple’s every move.
Only last month, Lin said he was too young to wed and that marriage "is not on my agenda."
The shuttler told the China Daily he hoped when the couple did wed, it would be "private" and "not the focus of media hype" — unlikely, given their star power.
Lin skipped this month’s China Open in Shanghai due to fatigue, after defeating Malaysia’s world number one Lee Chong Wei for the title at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, but he is competing this week at the Hong Kong Open.