Here’s a video that proves badminton can be one tense sport–even if it uses something as goofy sounding as a “shuttlecock.”
A clip from the recent match at the Wang Lao Ji BWF World Championships in 2013 shows two pairs of doubles teams from Indonesia and China getting into a loud, aggressive and downright tiring showdown just to win one more coveted point. It gets so heated that the shuttlecock seems to move just to the cusp of the speed of light as the Chinese team deliver spike after powerful strike and the Indonesian players uses their impressive reflexes to keep it from touching the ground or going out of bounds. It’s a sight to behold and that’s saying something because we’re talking about badminton, a sport usually reserved for family picnics for kids who want to play a game with adults who drank too much boxed wine with their meal.
We here the phrase “You can’t judge a book by its cover” so many times that we’d like to meet the person who first wrote it so we could smack them in the face with an actual book cover. However, it feels very appropriate for this moment. Just because a sport appears to be something that can’t generate enough emotional electricity to power a wind-up toy doesn’t mean it’s actually the case. Every sport has the potential to become something that’s just as dramatic and gripping as the deadliest mixed martial arts showdown or even the Super Bowl (as long as you don’t count the last one). Now all we need to do is find an equally impressive clip for synchronized diving and rhythmic gymnastics and we just might survive the next Summer Olympics.