Well, you know, umm, tough?

I’m an Olympic medalist but I’m worried I won’t be able to provide for my unborn twins’.

When Chris Langridge discovered shortly after the Rio Olympics that his wife, Emma, was pregnant with twins, it seemed the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

Langridge and Marcus Ellis had won bronze in the men’s doubles, Britain’s first badminton medal in 12 years, and negotiations with potential new sponsors were well underway.

Then UK Sport pulled the rug from beneath their feet, cutting all £5.7m in funding despite Langridge and Ellis’ success. Sponsors have disappeared and, with less than three months until Langridge has two more mouths to feed, he is consumed with worry about how he is going to manage.

“After Rio we found out Emma was pregnant – surprise!” he explains. “Then we found out it was twins – big surprise. Then we found out straight after we had no funding. It has been a really stressful time.

“I have been worrying about how I am going to provide for my family. I’m an Olympic medalist but my finances are bleak as I’m in such an uncertain situation.

“As soon as your sport is told that funding is being removed a lot of sponsors look at you a different way, thinking you’re a risk and maybe they won’t invest. I think ‘I’m one of the best in the world and I can’t get sponsors – this is mad’.

“After I won that medal I thought that finally I could relax a little. Finally I can enjoy this a bit more.

You’re one of the very best in the world at doing something not many people are interested in. Thus it’s a bit difficult to make a living at it.

Well, OK, umm, shrug?

72 comments on “Well, you know, umm, tough?

  1. “…I feel I have put in all this hard work for 21 years to achieve this medal and I haven’t really got much reward for it….”

    You got a medal. Isn’t that supposed to BE the reward?

  2. Seriously? These people thought after the London Olympics that there would still be funding?

    Extremely risky living. You’ve acquired skills that 1 client wants, and that’s highly discretionary, political spending. It’s not like learning football (90 odd clubs) or even ballet (you might not get into the royal ballet, but you can teach little girls in Croydon). What’s the alternative for badminton skills?

  3. “That means I have to get a certain result or I have lost money, which puts the pressure on.”

    Snowflake generation alert.

  4. What did he do with his free time, I wonder? Did he think that one day he wouldn’t be playing badminton (an injury could put paid to that in short order)?

    Would have been better to learn a trade or find a part-time position with a sports clothing/equipment manufacturer than sitting on his arse hoovering up sponsorship money in between badminton practice.

    Company I used to work for (very well known sports brand) had loads of ex-sportspeople working in merchandising, marketing, sales, or in community coaching programmes. So it isn’t like there are no opportunities for successful sportspeople to be able to work post their sports careers.

  5. “This shows you could spend half your life on something you love and when you get there you don’t receive your rewards”

    The sense of entitlement is strong in this whiny little twat. Get a proper job like the rest of us and tough titties if spending all that time doing what you love meant you didn’t get a good education.

  6. Please can I correct something here people. Badminton is massively popular in Britain and is the 3rd top participation sport in the country after footie and swimming. (Definition – if you ask a sample Did you play sport X last month and they say yes.)

    However this is kind of the issue: it’s the participation that we like, and watching the pros is less popular. Sponsorship follows numbers of viewers either live and on TV.

    For the record … I am a badminton coach in Berkshire 🙂

  7. Henry Crun,

    Lots of companies in Oz hire ex-NRL players as reps. Some people go weak at the knees if a big name sports personality turns up flogging safety gear or the like. The effect diminishes for lesser sports and where the reps name is not known to most.

  8. Nobody wants to pay *me* to do what I’m highly skilled at, so *I* have to do what I’m mediocrely-skilled at in order to be able to afford to stay alive. Join the club.

  9. “Did he think that one day he wouldn’t be playing badminton … Would have been better to learn a trade”

    Exactly. When I was a kid the local football team paid to put their players through college to get trained in proper skills so they’d have a way of earning a living once their footie career was over. When you have the money, invest in your future or you won’t have one.

  10. Just read more of it

    “We don’t know how it’s going to unfold with trips. UK Sport have always paid for them but now we might have to contribute a lot more. If I’m in Asia for two weeks that’s £2000. That means I have to get a certain result or I have lost money, which puts the pressure on.”

    Seriously, what’s the net of that? After you’ve paid for flights and hotels. And you might lose the lot.

    “This shows you could spend half your life on something you love and when you get there you don’t receive your rewards – it just gets dusted under the carpet.”

    Lots of people spend time on something they love: riding steam trains, attending beer festivals, watching Keeping up with the Kardashians, attending furry conventions. They don’t get fucking paid for it. You want a well-paid job? Work in something no-one does for fun.

    “But their decision shows UK Sport are unwilling to take a risk. They fund the sports that are measured against the clock because they’re easy to analyse. They’ve played it safe and I can’t believe they have made this decision.”

    No. They’re not funding you because the Olympics have been and gone, and this is standard procedure for countries that get the Olympics. They fund athletes for a few years to boost results.

    “I used to work in a bank processing centre doing fraud checks. I gave it up to pursue my real dream, which was a Paralympic medal. Now that has been taken away from me. My last resort is going back behind a desk again, which is so daunting for me.”

    Boo fucking hoo. That’s what thousands of people do every day, including plenty of disabled people. I’m sure they’d all like to be writing novels or operas, but they aren’t. They do a job.

    “That balance between mapping out costs and living the lifestyle of a pro athlete is not an easy one to find. I am still a professional athlete so I need to look after my body while feeling as good mentally as I do physically. That means you don’t want to stay in the grottiest accommodation and not go out for dinner.”

    Man up, Nancy. Muhammed Ali won a gold medal for boxing and had to use the “colored” section.

    “Instead, he has found employment as a coach at his fencing club on America’s west coast, where he relocated three years ago, but he is now “an amateur in a professional age” with annual costs of £30,000 to cover before he even takes a salary. His fears the sport could again become the preserve of those with rich parents are very real.”

    Oh, the horror. Fencing, the art of using 18th century weapons, is going to become the preserve of rich people. Next thing you’ll be telling me that wearing wigs to court has gone the same way.

  11. @jgh

    Nobody wants to pay *me* to do what I’m highly skilled at

    But I’m sure Mrs jgh has a permanent smile.

  12. Mmmm….Badminton. Maybe it is popular. I have a friend who says he plays it. Of course, he is generally regarded as a big girls blouse but….

  13. bis,

    We can argue over the details, but badminton is popular. It’s easy to get started in, doesn’t have much cost, and you can play it almost anywhere. I’d say almost any sports centre in the country has it as one of their most popular sports, and you can put a net up in the back garden.

  14. As has become the norm in many sports “professional athletes” are only professional at the expense of the state and extra advertising sponsors, they have never had to rely on winnings or personal sponsorship to survive.
    As an amateur athlete the medal was the end in itself, but the quest for medals by the state has created the situation we see here with selected minority sports audience based not surviving without the faux professional aid and the withdrawal of same creating this situation with the two badminton players.
    The simple truth is they could never have achieved any “lifestyle” without that state aid, but it should be a given as it is not earned money in the truly professional way.

  15. Firefoxx: My Mam and Dad played Badminton in the 1940s. It was a sort of popular fad for a while (perhaps being akin to tennis and the 1930s Fred Perry/Baron von Cramm type era). Even working class youth –as they were–aspired to be seen in their whites in the manner of the upper classes.

    Still have my Dad’s “Play better Badminton” book from that era in the bookcase.

  16. BiW: “Just read more of it”

    Oh the entitlement! Special mention to Ayaz, who is playing the Muslim card:

    ““I try and inspire other people now to play sport, especially within my Muslim community where sport is really a last resort,” he adds. “

    Shame we – unlike Pakistan – banned dog and cockfighting, eh?

  17. And also a mention for poor Toby:

    “Next week Penty moves back in with his parents in Walton-on-Thames. “

    The horror, the horror…

  18. Another article full of people complaining that the state won’t fund the lives they want to leave. Bloody moaning snowflake Guardi… hang on a moment!

  19. Being a top athlete in an unpopular sport is the preserve of the wealthy. If your name is Jocasta Double-Barrelled and you’ve been galloping around daddy’s estate since you were out of nappies, then you can afford the luxury of spending a few years coming ninth in synchronised canoeing. But if you don’t have family wealth to back you, you shouldn’t take reckless risks with your career path.

    Same applies to artists, possibly even more so.

  20. Just out of interest, why was the funding removed from Badminton? It simply wasn’t random whim. I know it will be in the article somewhere, but life is too short.

  21. As commenter Ben S succinctly put it, on yesterday’s thread about sleeper trains:

    “But I *like* having nice things subsidised by someone else!”

    See also Brexit.

  22. Ironman,

    It’s not in this article; but an older article suggests that it’s because spending on lottery tickets has fallen.

    UK Sport then had to choose between spreading the pain evenly across all sports, or cutting some entirely while preserving funding elsewhere. They choose the latter.

    That same older article goes into some depth on how UK Sport spends its money:

    UK Sport is tasked by the Government with allocating its money in such a way that ensures Britain delivers the most Olympic and Paralympic medals possible at each Games.

    Under the way the system is constituted, if a sport can demonstrate its potential to win a certain number of medals at one of the next two Olympics or Paralympics, it will generally be funded to achieve that goal.

  23. I have some sympathy with the elite performers in this age. 20 Years ago medalling at the Olympics would have brought greater rewards, mainly because being a British Olympic medalist was a rare thing.

    However, and this does not diminish the feat of achieving one, the state spending loads of money on UK sport has been rewarded with a glut of Olympic medals and that has quickly meant that the opportunities outside of sport has diminished. I remember Sydney 2000 and the excitement when team GB began winning more than one gold (compared to 1996), then steadly we got used to winning 7 or 8 golds and in 2012, we knocked the house down but that means in 2016 few people know who won gold let alone a bronze.

    However, this is our money and there is clearly not a market to sustain these people as professional athletes and I don’t see why anyone who doesnt know them should care. I doubt they would give two hoots about me or anyone commenting on here and our daily work and the soul crushing experience of modern work.

    I don’t actually want to laugh at other people’s slight misfortunes, but pieces like this make me think they deserve that mockery.

  24. Robert Harries,

    The sporting authorities quite deliberately “gamed” medal winning. The funding criteria for London wasn’t about winning “good” medals, like track golds, but the easiest sports, like women’s rowing. And what do you know, the easy sports that hardly anyone can be bothered to do to a very high level aren’t sports that can get much sponsorship.

  25. Then UK Sport pulled the rug from beneath their feet, cutting all £5.7m in funding despite Langridge and Ellis’ success.

    One bronze medal. If only British industry could match this amazing consistent level of excellence.

    This shows you could spend half your life on something you love and when you get there you don’t receive your rewards – it just gets dusted under the carpet.

    You answered your own point there mate. Why should we tax poor people so that you can persue your hobby?

    My last resort is going back behind a desk again, which is so daunting for me

    Travelling the world playing badminton is fine, but sitting behind a desk is a daunting challenge to be feared by just about anyone.

    One of the features of modern life and a generation brought up with the expectation that their whims and desires should be funded by others is the sheer fucking lack of shame, embarrassment or even self-awareness of what they are demanding.

  26. @DocBud
    “This one suggests badminton is on a par with tennis, which comes in sixth in above article.”
    It is strange, that the money available is so different for two sports which IMHO are so similar.
    It is far greater than the difference between rugby league and union.
    Can I suggest he tries for strictly?

  27. Ironman,

    “It’s not in this article; but an older article suggests that it’s because spending on lottery tickets has fallen.”

    Good. I’m not a gambler, but I’d much rather people play Desmond’s Health Lottery that seems to fund actual good causes rather than the political shit the National Lottery pays for.

  28. Next week professional footballer at Charlton Athletic upset at no government subsidy to pay him; Telegraph sympathises and offers him the chance to put his reasonable appeal before the people.

  29. Thanks DocBud, good research and perhaps my facts are out of date.
    I notice from the second article that it’s not the same as i was describing:

    “which show that once a week participation among those 16 and over in the UK has decreased by 16 per cent over the course of the past decade – from 516,700 in 2005 to 431,600 last year.”

    Once a week and only over 16s is quite restrictive. Lots of younger kids play and it’s a great game for them since size and strength isn’t a big advantage.

    Also due to family and other time pressures​ even i don’t play once a week every week so wouldn’t make those numbers.

  30. @Rob: “One of the features of modern life and a generation brought up with the expectation that their whims and desires should be funded by others is the sheer fucking lack of shame, embarrassment or even self-awareness of what they are demanding.”

    Contrast that with the final interview (almost an afterthought) who displays the sort of ‘Well, it’s a shame, but I’m sure we’ll get through it’ attitude we once used to excel at…

  31. There was once a time, not long ago, where people would participate in sport not because the State taxed them into doing it, or because non-entities did or didn’t receive public funding, but because they just fucking wanted to.

    But these days everything is political.

  32. “This shows you could spend half your life on something you love and when you get there you don’t receive your rewards”

    If you’re doing the thing you love, that’s supposed to be the reward in itself.

    To get paid, you need to do something that someone else wants you to do (and wants enough to pay for).

    As my old boss used to say, “if you enjoyed it, we wouldn’t have to pay you for doing it.”

  33. Should plan ahead ; he could be like James Taylor ; a cricketer who discovered he had a heart problem and couldn’t play any more.

  34. Contrast that with the final interview

    Very good on him, but then he is wheelchair Rugby captain.

    I missed most of the Olympics, but saw quite a lot of the Paralympics. I recommend treating the latter as the more important.

    Some of the events can be lopsided due to the groupings, but whinging is verboten, and many competitors are genuinely inspirational, and the competition can be thrillingly vicious.

    Give it a go is my advice.

  35. Another bleating benefits junkie. I’ll bet he wasn’t capped at £23k (or whatever it is).

    Stop sucking at the state’s teat. Arsehole.

  36. UK Sport rewards success and potential for success. I’m guessing that this chap isnt getting funding because they dont think he’s a good prospect. The badminton chap is ranked with his partner at 16th in the world.

    http://bwfbadminton.com/rankings/2/bwf-world-rankings/8/men-s-doubles/2017/13/?rows=25&page_no=1

    According to wiki they were 19th prior to the Rio Olympics. So I’m guessing that their Bronze was something of a fluke – they don’t seem to be doing well on the rest of the world circuit. UKSport tries to be scientific about this stuff.

  37. They’re not snowflakes: they’re just playing the media. They want their old jobs back, and they’re not giving up without a fight.

    Their present careers mean being paid to travel the world, stay in nice hotels, eat nice food, and play around with extremely fit young men & women. The nearest alternative is much less appealing. To achieve their aims, they’re drumming up media support, garnering sympathy, and spewing dodgy statistics. They’ve been interviewed on radio, now they’re in the papers, no doubt they’ll be on TV soon too. These are perfectly rational tactics to try to recover what they had.

    If it works out well (or even if it doesn’t), I recommend a career in either public relations or politics.

  38. Witchie

    Not benefits. Think of it as a badly paid job. It’s badly paid for two reasons:

    1) Lots of people would like to do it. (although most do not qualify for skill reasons), so supply is high.
    2) It’s a tournament. Do well and the rewards are high. the top men’s singles badminton guys get a lot of prize money (even the top doubles guys get decent prize money) and sponsorship. This chap doesn’t cut it.

    Anyway anyone who can train hard and operate well under pressure should be able to get a decent job as long as they have some social skills. But, no more public money to pursue his dreams. Such is life – he didnt win the tournament. (I’m using the tournament not in the sports sense but in the economics sense of how people are paid. Although obviously winning competitions does match that in this case.)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tournament_theory

  39. Given the badminton is played across Asia, coming third in the world really isn’t bad. More so as they are competing with the likes of China – which has schools where a thousand eight year olds play 10 hours a day so that one has a chance at being a champion.

    Also, if he was assured of support, built his career and planned his future on that basis – no matter how unfair that is to the taxpayer – then I can see how he might be aggrieved.

    However, people really ought to ask themselves how and when they add value. Does he add value to the world? If not, why does he deserve my money? Why should old women cleaning toilets be forced to hand over cash to pay for his jollies overseas? If he does, why can’t he make money out of it himself?

    And wheelchair rugby? Please. Why would anyone want to kill grandma for that?

  40. Andrew M

    You’re right, they’re appealing for money to stay in the tournament. But

    The hotels are usually pretty mediocre and the grind of international competition is hard. No booze, no partying. If they succeed, they get very high rewards though.

  41. SMFS

    The agreement with UKSport is that there is funding but only if the sport delivers. Badminton hit the target at Rio 2016, but it appears that UKSport decided that the odds of getting a medal in 2020 were poor. Judging by the world rankings, I’d say they were right. So the athletes were never guaranteed support – this chap can point to the medal and say “we exceeded our target”, but in the end, it’s also about potential and the UKSport decision looks pretty logical.

  42. If he played Andy Murray in a game of badminton, and then a game of tennis, I’ll wager a shiny new pound on which one will be closer.

    Fair play to his achievement. But all the better athletes chose to play other things.

  43. bilbaoboy – “Apparently lots of sex though. Wasn’t it in Rio where the condoms ran out?”

    Those steroid tests are not having the desired effect then.

  44. Guy I used to work with spent his weekends shuttling kiddo about to county and national level badminton competitions. Lad was top 20 in his age group.

    Which sounds good, and at the local level he was top dog so he had to compete regionally or nationally to get decent competition (at least from within his age band) but I was always left wondering what the point of it all was, since the national competitions he would always be knocked out within the first few rounds, and was never going to win the thing or even make the final.

    The top four or six guys were simply far too good, and he would always, always lose to them.

    This was partly because they were obviously talented. But also, even as 15 year olds, they were effectively semi-pro. Receiving national level coaching and/or were on full sporting scholarships at sporty boarding schools (also with its own coaching package).

    And I wondered even more what the point of this was, particularly for guys ranked four to six. Being number four to six in the world in a minority sport like that wouldn’t be too bad, you’d have some chance of success at a reasonable level. But being number six only in your own country (which isn’t one of the very biggest powers in the sport) and moreover only in your exact yeargroup (if the top flight professional career is circa 15 years, then multiply the player pool by 15…) and the benefits of sticking that much effort (and from the funding provider’s point of view, money) into a potential career in the sport seems rather unclear to me.

    That many hours of training per week, whizzing all over the place for competitions, at a time when you have critical, workload-intensive (if you’re taking them seriously) exams to take that will decide what alternative career pathways are available to you, it just doesn’t seem very “fun” to me by the stage that it’s taking up that much commitment, and this at a stage of life where there are considerable opportunity costs.

    Perhaps they might end up in a career in coaching or sports development of their own (but one coach coaches far more than one student so this smells rather like a pyramid scheme) but I presume the funding is there to catch the odd late-bloomer and make sure that the top one or two guys face some half-decent domestic competition so they are more competitive internationally if they decide to make a career out of it later.

  45. Incidentally, I recall Tim Henman complaining repeatedly that when he got coaching at the LTA as a lad, the posho kids there would – when asked what they wanted to do – want to be accountants or lawyers. He felt the odd one out for going to all this coaching but actually wanting to be a tennis player.

    It would be “better” from the tennis-player-production-line point of view if they’d all been hungry to be pro tennis players, of course. Otherwise all that governing body’s coaching money (and who is stumping that up, ultimately?) was being spent on someone’s recreational activity.

    But from the lads’ point of view, they were surely correct. Particularly back then when there were very lean pickings for lower-ranked players, little prize money for qualifying for first round of a slam, and paltry little tournaments all over the world where your hotel and air fare may leave you with little left over even if you make any headway through the draw. If they were upper-middle-class Londoners with decent career prospects, and who weren’t showing signs of being tennis world-beaters (and by your late teens you’d have a very good idea), their decision was a no-brainer.

    The alternative, funding loads of committed hungry wannabe sports-people – of whom only a small are financially self-viable sports-stars – ultimately leads you to the point in this article when the money runs out, and it’s really a rather sorry state of affairs for most of those involved.

    A similar thing I’ve seen at a close-ish distance a few times: what happens to kids at football academies when they don’t really “make it”. It’s not just about the sudden changes in financial prospects, it’s a mindblowing dose of ego deflation.

  46. Bilbaoboy

    Yes. But not much partying pre-Olympics.

    MBE

    The funding is pretty slim at cadet (U17) and even junior (U20) levels – some coaching, some support for international comps. The point of the UKSports funding is to allow the top people to train full time and travel to the comps to get the ranking required to go to the worlds and olympics. This is the funding that has been cut from badminton.

    As I said this isnt welfare, it’s more like a badly paid job in the hope of hitting it rich by becoming world or olympic champion.

  47. @Andrew M: I’m really struggling to work out what Brexit has to do with this.

    But hey, I expect I’m just a thick ignorant racist!

  48. Peter MacFarlane,

    A disproportionate number of Remainers are directly or indirectly on the EU payroll (e.g. farmers, scientists, etc.); now they’re complaining that somebody has moved their cheese. It’s a bit of a leap, but the principle is the same: people complain loudly when you take away their source of income.

  49. @ken

    What surprised me was how much additional support there was from other sources, at the youth level, at least for the top couple of young’uns. (The coaching and scholarships had considerable financial value.) Some of the youngsters end up living and breathing their sport, even if it wasn’t national funding bodies that were paying out for it.

    But then these parts of the funding ecosystem are clearly trying to achieve different things to the much more targeted UKSports funding. (Actually I don’t think the UKSports model would work without some funding elsewhere to produce the pipeline of potential serious competitors. But for what they are trying to achieve, the UKSports funding seems very rational. Anyone who relies on a funding body as hard-headed as that for their day-to-day pay is taking a big gamble, and one not guaranteed to come off.)

  50. MBE

    You mean Millfield School.

    And some pretty decent support at the university level if you go to the US and you’re good – say top 5 in Junior World rankings or top 25 in the senior world rankings.

  51. @ken

    Thanks.

    I never got my head around the obsession the US college system (and even high school system) has with sports, either. Particularly the more obscure ones.

  52. MBE, U.S. colleges are in a very competitive market. For students.

    School athletics can enhance the student experience, hence provide schools with an edge over competitors. Win on Saturday, get more applications on Monday.

    Also, re: “I was always left wondering what the point of it all was, since the national competitions he would always be knocked out within the first few rounds, and was never going to win the thing or even make the final.”

    Same deal with golf. For every pro you see on TV, there are 100 more out there who can play just about as well. The level of competition is beyond our comprehension.

  53. A similar thing I’ve seen at a close-ish distance a few times: what happens to kids at football academies when they don’t really “make it”. It’s not just about the sudden changes in financial prospects, it’s a mindblowing dose of ego deflation.

    An in-law^2 had “made it”. Out of academy, signed up with a League 1 side, gopping WAG (the in-law). Then got injured. The sort of thing that makes it impossible to train at the level they demand you do.

    Inside the “this contract is void if …” period.

    He’s a nice enough lad that you feel sorry for him but, by God, he’s bitter.

    He probably hadn’t yet got pay checks that would massively shame my best “way-hay! Bonus time”, months but he was the usual 17-18.

  54. …I feel I have put in all this hard work for 21 years to achieve this medal and I haven’t really got much reward for it….

    In badminton. You got a medal in badminton. Badminton. What part of the joke don’t you see?

    In any event, you were the one who chose to take badminton seriously. As Timmy would point out, that decision had an opportunity cost. The fact that you were too fucking stupid to understand that 21 years ago doesn’t change the fact that it was your decision – and yours alone – to make.

    Now, you can sit around and cry like a little girl – just like you are doing now – or you can go out into the big, bad world, find a real fucking job, and make a go of it… Like the rest of us.

    Twat.

  55. This is comparable to the SJW punk who spends a quarter of million U.S. to pick up an undergraduate degree in Gender Studies and a Masters in Sociology and can’t understand why ze is pulling lattes at Starbucks.

  56. In my young fit days, I actually rose to the level of the Canadian Junior National Water polo team. At the age of 16, I was faced with the choice of moving to Ottawa to attend a specialist school and train full time for the Olympic Team, with a view to trying to make the team for games 6 years down the road. It is an extremely physically demanding and time consuming sport which leaves little to no time or energy for post-secondary schooling or career path work. Following this path meant no university or professional career.

    I loved the sport, travel, etc. but even at 16 it was a pretty obvious choice to make. Start with the absolute best case scenario of winning a gold medal at 22 or 26 or 30. Its not like there is a professional water polo league that I could play in or a long line of sponsors lining up to sign a single player for a team in a sport which is not popular in Canada or the even North America. Next Water polo is dominated by countries like Hungary. The chances that the Canadian Olympic Water polo team was going to win a gold medal was a likely as those of the Brazilian junior national team winning the World Junior Ice Hockey Championship. So the answer was thanks for the offer but I am going to pass.

    There was a big to do with the coaching staff and one player especially who tried to have an ‘intervention’ to convince me that I was turning down the chance of a lifetime. They even tried to get my parents to change my mind. They had said it was up to me, but in retrospect I am pretty sure they knew how I was going to decide.

    Anyway, not only did Canada not win a gold medal, they didn’t even qualify for the next two Olympic tournaments. I ran into the player who tried the intervention years later. Lets just say that the life he was living confirmed yet again that I had made the right choice.

    Bottomline is that you play a secondary or tertiary sport because you love it. Not because you can expect to make a living at it.

  57. My brother played water polo for GB back in the early 1980s. Went to watch him once. Not much of a spectator sport. He didn’t go to the Olympics either, as GB didn’t qualify. As you say, Hungary.

  58. Well, diddums, you can always go out and get a job, like the rest of us who don’t believe that the world owes us a living. That is when you recover from realising that Badminton is after all, just another game; and not too many people are interested!

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