On June 13, 2019, Lee Chong Wei announced his retirement through a press conference after a 19-year career in badminton.
Here’s a short summary of why Lee Chong Wei retired:
- Lee was diagnosed with nose cancer in September 2018.
- He battled cancer, and was making good progess.
- He recently wanted to get clearance from his doctor so he can participate in high-intensity training again, but was told he may face the risk of reoccurrence if he continued to train.
- He came to the realization that he would be too “selfish”, playing for himself and the country and not thinking about his family.
As Lee shared on his Instagram:
“I was at loss. I thought “How am I supposed to hang up my racket after nearly twenty years of competitive badminton?, “ How about my Olympic dreams?”…
Then it struck me to finally make up my mind. I shouldn’t be so selfish. I have played for myself, I have played for my country. This time, I want to play the role of a father, for long long time. I want to see them grow up to be proper men, to get married, to have kids. I want to take care of my wife when she is old too.”
In the video, I genuinely felt his passion and love for the sport. Although the announcement was tearful, Lee delivered an extremely respectable farewell.
Thank you Lee Chong Wei. You have not only made Malaysia proud, but have earned the whole badminton community’s respect. Wishing you the best in your retirement.
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