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World Badminton Day: Special Olympics Athletes Participate in Prestigious Tournament

Two badminton players pose at an event.
Lee Changyin and Tam Manho participated in the men’s singles and doubles competitions at the Macau Open Badminton Championship.

5 JULY 2022 – World Badminton Day is celebrated on 5 July in recognition of the Badminton World Federation’s founding on 5 July 1934.

While badminton is played in nearly every nation, one region on China’s south coast is perhaps more infatuated with the sport than any other place.

Macau, the most densely populated region of the world, is obsessed with badminton. The Macau Badminton Association was established in 2005 and puts on more than 1,000 competitions every year, most notably the Macau Open Badminton Championship.

Held annually in January, this tournament brings some of the best badminton players across Asia and this year, it also invited two Special Olympics Macau athletes to compete.

Lee Changyin and Tam Manho participated in the men’s singles and doubles competitions, and the significance of their presence did not go unnoticed.

The Macau Badminton Association strives to promote the participation of people with intellectual disabilities in their events which they hope will create a more inclusive local society.

Lee, who has been playing badminton since 2010, said his favorite part was the doubles competition.

“[Tam] and I have been playing closely together for more than ten years,” Lee said. “We understand each other extremely well and enjoyed competing together at the Macau Open Badminton Championship.

Both Lee and Tam have been practicing for the competition for the last several years, and both held near-perfect attendance rates. During their training, both athletes also took time to assist younger Special Olympics players to teach them correct skills and help them better understand the sport.

Tam said his focus now turns to future competitions, including the 2023 Berlin World Games.

“Together at the Macau Open Badminton Championship, we enhanced our playing skills, got further exposure to the competition experience and were able to adjust to the psychological pressure of playing in a big tournament,” Tam said.

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