Five-time world champion and two-time Olympics gold medallist Lin Dan has officially announced his retirement today (Saturday, 4th July).
Nicknamed “Super Dan” by fans around the world, the 36-year-old Chinese athlete said that it was time to hang up his hang up his racquet after spending two decades with the national team.
“From 2000 to 2020, after 20 years, I have to say goodbye to the national team. It is very difficult to speak it out,” the left-handed shuttler wrote on Weibo. “My physical capabilities and injuries won’t let me fight with my teammates anymore.”
According to the Chinese Badminton Association, the beloved badminton superstar submitted his formal retirement letter just a couple days ago. That being said, Lin Dan – who scored golds at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games – won’t be competing in the next Olympics in Tokyo (which has been postponed to July 2021).
Tributes have been pouring in left and right. One of them was his great rival and friend, Lee Chong Wei. “Please believe that the laughter, tears and all the promises are unforgettable diary entries,” the 37-year-old Malaysian wrote on Weibo. “Proud of you,” he added.
He also dedicated a heartfelt tribute below:
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We knew this day would arrive, Heavy moment of our lives; You pulled down the curtain gracefully, You were king where we fought so proudly; Your final wave all four disappear, Within the hush of silent tear. 这一天终于还是到来了 我退役一年后 你也选择挂拍 不惊讶 不遗憾 球场上的巅峰之战 我们挥洒的汗水和泪水 记录着青春无悔 祝福你 我最伟大的对手 林丹
Throughout his career, Lin Dan has won 666 singles matches and lost only 128.