Beijing: Two time Olympic gold medalist and five time world badminton champion Lin Dan has officially ended his 20-year military life, leaving the People’s Liberation Army Bayi Badminton Club last Friday.
Lin Dan joined the Bayi Badminton Club when at the age of 12. His family brought the young Lin Dan from his hometown of Longyan, Fuzhou to enlist him in the People’s Liberation Army. As member of the Bayi Badminton Club, Lin Dan was bound by strict rules and required permission from the Army to involve in any commercial activities.
However, his has been criticized for some of his rule-breaking actions in recent years such as getting tattoos on several areas of his body, taking sexy photo shoots, launching his own underwear brand, and involved in several other commercial endorsements that were seen as actions strictly prohibited by the Bayi club.
Facing criticism, Lin Dan said leaving the club is his personal choice.
“I used to serve in the army, and now I’m demobilized. I’m so lucky to have chance to try on different roles and keep the badminton career I love,” said the 32-year-old Lin.
Leaving Bayi Badminton Club means he could put more time and energy on commercial activities. He hopes to take advantage of the last a few years of his career as a badminton player and plan ahead for his future.
Bayi’s loss is a gain for Lin Dan’s new boss. According to his sponsor Yonex, Lin Dan joined the Beijing Badminton Team, which means he will represent Beijing in the 2017 National Games in Tianjin.