Malaysian badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei who has been a huge source of inspiration for badminton players all around the world has announced his retirement. The 36-year-old has had an immaculate career, from being World number 1 for 348 weeks to having won 69 career titles. Lee's game was not only inspiring for all badminton players but it also taught them how to keep calm in difficult match situations. With his accuracy, excellent skill and unbeatable fitness, Lee's on-court persona often almost felt unreal.
On Thursday, Lee announced his retirement in a press conference, where with a heavy heart he stated the main reason behind his decision was that his body was not coping after he was diagnosed with Nasopharynx Cancer last year. After going through chemotherapy, he started training for competitive Badminton again in 2019. He said his aim was to participate at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Despite being World number one he was forced to settle for a silver at the Olympics three consecutive times.
"I have no regrets. More important is my health, the decision to retire is very tough," said Lee, adding that his cancer treatment was now over.
"My plan to retire was originally after the Olympic Games. I made this decision due to my health."
Lee added, "You know I got married in 2012. But we (have) never gone for a honeymoon. I owe this promise (to my wife), now I have to please her."
As he began announcing his retirement, Lee paused for almost a minute as tears rolled down his cheeks.
"I fought for my country all the way," Lee said, at one point,with his voice choking.
"It's my retirement day."
This is not just an emotional day for Lee but also all his fans globally who associated with the sport through him.