Golden Opportunity - Lin Dan, Badminton

Olympic Review continues its countdown to the 2012 Games with exclusive interviews with stars of three more of the 26 sports on the programme, who are targeting gold in London. Lin Dan, the flamboyant chinese badminton star, was one of the home successes of the Beijing Games, winning the men’s gold medal. He will be defending his title in London in 2012.

At what age did you start playing Badminton?

I started playing badminton at the age of six and then six years later I joined my first junior team.

What is your strongest memory of the 2008 Beijing Games?

The thing that sticks in my mind is when I won the gold medal. At that moment I had realised my dream, which I had worked so long for.

What is your aim for the 2012 Games?

There is still two years to go before the next Olympic Games. During that time I will be taking part in a number of important competitions such as the Asian Games and the World Championships so as to keep in good form for 2012. I will try my best to defend my Olympic title.

Have you been to London before and, if so, what are your thoughts of the city?

London is a city with a great sense of history. I have been there previously when I competed in the All England Championships. I won the event last year, beating Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei, who was also my opponent in the final in Beijing.

What are you most looking forward to about  the 2012 Games?

What I am hoping is that I can give the world (and the UK in particular) some more excellent performances and I hope that the Chinese team can achieve some good results so that our flag will again fly above the badminton court.

Who will be your main rivals for the gold medal in London?

Over the next two years, leading players such as Lee Chong Wei and Bao Chunlai will keep making progress. Meanwhile, more new players will come up in the world, such as Chen Jin and Chen Long. All of them are very good players and will be major competitors to me in London.

Who were your Olympic heroes when you were growing up?

While growing up, the members of the Chinese badminton team, such as the great Tang Xianhu, were always my Olympic heroes.

What music do you listen to on your MP3 player?

Both popular and classical music can be found on my MP3 player. Which one I listen to at any one time, depends on my mood at that moment.