Lee Zii Jia (李梓嘉) has become a household name among Malaysians, especially after the Olympics. Although our national badminton hero has shot to fame and made multiple headlines, there is more than meets the eye.
In a recent interview with Xuan, Lee revealed some surprising details about his life. Not only did he share anecdotes about being bullied, he also responded to some issues, mainly regarding his ‘nickname’ “BB (babe)” and his love for singing.
Lee’s badminton skills have certainly gained him the respect of many. His dedication to the sport and the string of achievements that he has accomplished are stunning. Unfortunately, the road to becoming the best hasn’t been easy. In fact, back when he was starting out, Lee endured excessive bullying. “I entered sports school when I was 13,” the star recalled. “When I was 14, midway through the year, I called my mother saying: “I want to go home. I don’t want to (play badminton) anymore.“”
Apparently, he had been experiencing alienation from his peers. Lee shared how he would be left sleeping alone in a dorm of six. “I would cry myself to sleep everyday,” he said. His peers would also take measures to avoid him in the cafeteria. “I would take my plate and just as I start to sit (at the table), at that moment, all of them would grab their plates and leave,” he said.
Lee linked the alienation as a consequences of his devotion to training. He thought his peers felt he would often go above and beyond what was demanded of them and they didn’t like it. Thankfully, Datin Wong Mew Choo, Dato Lee Chong Wei’s wife, and her sister would comfort him and offer him encouragement. Lee is sure he only made it through those times because of them. “I will never forget it till the day I die,” he stated.
Although he’s grown since then, Lee continues to remain dedicated to badminton. Unfortunately, this also means he has very high expectations of himself. His will to win doesn’t stop at tournaments, Lee extends the same desire to simple practice games. He acknowledged that such a consuming want has the power to break him. “I just really hate the feeling of losing,” he shared.
One of the ways he decompresses it is by music! Apparently, when he gets frustrated, Lee will listen to music, play his guitar and sing. We’ve certainly seen his singing skills with his song “Ten Thousand Emotions, In Portrait (一万种情绪)”. However, netizens have apparently criticised him of getting distracted from his game. “When I want to sing, it’s not like I will meet with my couch and say: “I won’t be practicing today, I’m going to sing!”“, he jokingly rebutted. Lee stressed he only sings when he’s free after training and insists it does not get in the way of anything.
As for his popular nickname “BB”, Lee has expressed being uncomfortable with it in previous interviews. However, he may have already gotten used to it. The badminton player shyly shared that his teammates have picked up the nickname and have no qualms calling him “BB”. “I’m actually okay with it. It’s a social media thing. I can’t control what people call me,” he said wisely. Instead of opposing it, Lee is now going with the flow. “Whether its good or bad, I will accept it,” he shrugged. “So the current impact on me isn’t great.”
Well, our resident hero certainly has more talents than just badminton! However, it’s clear his one true love is the sport. No matter how frustrating or disappointing it can get, it seems Lee Zii Jia will persist in performing his best for the game. After all, he’s already come so far.
The national team’s most recent tournament, 2021 French Open has left them frustrated. One of his friends and team member, Soh Wooi Yik was even seen crying bitter tears after the game. Although they didn’t make it as far as they had hoped, we’re sure they will train harder and do their best in the next competition.
Check out the full interview here:
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