Viktor Axelsen: Fatherhood is a constant learning process

The Rio 2016 badminton medallist and new dad is easing back into training after ankle surgery

By Sanjeev Palar

Viktor Axelsen took the badminton world by storm when he defeated two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan to claim bronze at Rio 2016.

The Dane shares exclusively with Olympic Channel how his world was turned upside down by the arrival of his first child in October as he recovers from surgery to his ankle and eases back into training for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

"The day my daughter was born is the best day of my life." - Viktor Axelsen

A new challenge ahead

Axelsen together with his partner, Natalia Koch Rohde welcomed baby Vega into their lives on October 15.

The 2017 world champion was quick to reveal that it's a brand new experience for him and unlike taking to the court, being a parent is a learning process every day.

He adds that "when I go out on court, I know I've done a lot of training and a lot of practice. But being a dad is a totally new skill."

Axelsen admits to making mistakes but stresses that it's important to not get caught up with the small details and to be good to yourself. "I try not to be too hard on myself when things don't really go my way or the diaper is not put on right."

"I'm sure that I'll be good at changing diapers and getting her to sleep at some point." - Viktor Axelsen

Returning to the court

The 2020 All England Open champion suffered an injury to his right ankle shortly after winning the title in March.

Given the halt in play due to the Corona virus pandemic, the 26-year-old used the tournament downtime to undergo surgery with a hope of returning stronger than ever to mount a challenge for gold at the Olympic Games in Japan.

"I've done the same surgery on my left foot and had really good success with that. So I'm not too worried" shared the Dane adding that "now was the right time to do it, because I do put a lot of stress on my body and the pain was increasing."

"With not so many tournaments being played at this point. This was the right thing to do." - Viktor Axelsen