Shanghai: In his first public appearance since Lin Dan shocked the badminton world with the announcement of retirement on July 4th, 2020, he was greeted with a warm welcome by badminton fans when attended a press conference in Shanghai on July 9th, 2020, organized by his sponsor, the badminton equipment manufacturer Yonex.
Talking to the crowd, he said years of injuries and the fact that he couldn’t focus and train like he used to, were reasons for him to call it quits.
Famous faces from the badminton world including Lee Chong Wei, Peter Gade, Taufik Hidayat, Lee Yong Dae, Viktor Axelsen, and Kento Momota have been quick to pay tribute to Lin Dan, who is considered the greatest badminton player of all time.
Let’s see what they said!
Tong Sin Fu (Lin Dan’s coach)
“Lin Dan, as a very successful athlete, I believe you would live a much more exciting life after your retirement!”
Li Zhifeng (Lin Dan’s coach)
“In your 20-year badminton career, you have achieved outstanding results that no one can match. Many people only care whether you win or lose, but they didn’t see the hard work you’ve put in behind the scene. It’s remarkable that you can play until the age of 37. Now that you have retired from the national team, I am glad to see you spend more time with your family and enjoy happy moments with your family. I also hope that you will continue to help promote the Chinese badminton and world badminton in the future. Wish you all the best.”
Lee Chong Wei (Lin Dan’s friend and opponent)
“Brother, you show strong perseverance for the sport of badminton. I hope we can continue to work together to promote the sport of badminton.”
Peter Gade (Lin Dan’s friend and opponent)
“Lin Dan, today is a special moment. It’s the end of an era. You can look back at an amazing career. You did what no other player manages to do. I am very happy and honored to be part of the many matches we shared. Most of them you win, but still, it’s very special for me, and the mutual respect we shared during the years will always be very special to me. I wish you the best of luck in your retirement, and spend more time with family and friends, also possibly start some new adventures.”
Taufik Hidayat (Lin Dan’s friend and opponent)
“Lin Dan, I know you retired already. I know it’s not an easy decision. We played together and we shared a lot of great moments. But now you have retired, same as us, but I know your heart is still thinking about badminton. I hope you enjoy your retirement and enjoy your time with your family. Stay safe, hope to see you again in the next badminton event, bye!”
Lee Yong Dae (Lin Dan’s friend)
“Lin Dan, you have experienced a lot of challenging moments in his badminton career, and I know it’s not easy. As a badminton player, I respect you very much and not sure if we can see another badminton player like Lin Dan again. Wish you all the best.”
Kento Momota (current World No. 1 men’s singles player)
“Lin Dan, your games have deeply inspired and motivated me to become a player like you. I hope we can work together to promote the sport of badminton in the future. Thank you very much.”
Viktor Axelsen (current World No. 4 men’s singles player)
“Lin Dan, I am a big fan of yours. Your achievements in badminton are so remarkable. Thank you for being my idol. I wish you great success in your future endeavors!”
（video source: 乒羽先锋）