After a notable 19-year career, badminton legend and former world champion, Datuk Lee Chong Wei has officially announced his retirement from the professional scene today (June 13). In a press conference, Chong Wei said the decision was made following health concerns over his battle with cancer.
“I was given eight questionnaires to answer about my conditions and the outcome came out to show that I’m not fit to do high intensity activities. So it’s not suitable for me to exert myself for the sake of my health,” he said at a press conference in Putrajaya today.
With that, the world champion, who had garnered 69 titles throughout his career, including 46 titles in the now-defunct Superseries – the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) top-flight circuit, thanked the his supporters and the Malaysian public for having his back.
In an Instagram post @leechongweiofficial, Chong Wei explained the reason for his retirement, and expressed gratitude for his family, fans and supporters. The tear-jerking post also touched on his fears as he battled cancer, and his dream for an Olympic gold.
He also spoke about his time with his family and kids, and his role as a father and husband, and expressed his resolutions on spending more time with them while focusing on his health. Chong Wei signed out by thanking his fans again.
View this post on Instagram
To all my family friends and fans. To everyone of you who have been a part of my life, thank you. A real big sincere thank you. Months ago, all of you knew I had cancer. I fought it. And I thought I fought it well. I thought I could try one more time. I am just someone who love to play badminton. Someone who love my country. I feared of retiring with regrets. I was scared of not delivering that elusive Olympic gold for Malaysia. So when I was cleared of cancer, I took up my racquet and trained once again. After few days of light training, I wanted to get clearanyce from my doctor to heighten my training intensity, then i was dealt a major blow. From that scan, doctor shook his head and said i might face the risk of recurrence if I continue to train. Mew Choo crumbled crying. She feared i might be stubborn and continue to pursue my dream. I was at loss. I thought “How am I supposed to hang up my racket after nearly twenty years of competitive badminton?, “ How about my Olympic dreams?” At home, i kept myself occupied with my two sons, Kingston and Terrence. I bathed them, I fed them, I taught them badminton. I spent time with them. Most importantly, I really watched them grew up. Then it struck me to finally make up my mind. I shouldn’t be so selfish. I have played for myself, I have played for my country. This time, I want to play the role of a father, for long long time. I want to see them grow up to be proper men, to get married, to have kids. I want to take care of my wife when she is old too. So Yes, I have made my decision to quit. I’m sorry that I couldn’t make it to Tokyo this time around. And I’m sorry I didn’t deliver an Olympic gold. But I know I’ve no regrets as I’ve tried my best. My very best. I hope my name Lee Chong Wei has inspired you all one way or another, same like the way you guys inspired me. Without my family, my teammates, my coaches, and my supporters, I won’t achieve anything. I had no regrets. When i started playing badminton, all I wanted to do is to represent Malaysia. And I believed I did it with pride and honour. Well. I’m done. Thank you very much to all of you. Lee Chong Wei signing out.
Rest well, and all the best, LCW!