You may not know it, but Canada has actually produced quite a few great badminton players. But it’s been a while since we’ve seen Canadians at the very top of the world rankings.
Michelle Li was the only Canadian on the BWF world tour for quite some time.
Recently she’s been joined by fellow Canadian, Brian Yang. The unassuming young men’s single player from Toronto has quietly climbed the BWF ranking ladder. But is this coincidental, or a sign of more to come from Canada?
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- An estimated 2 million Canadians play badminton yearly
- Over 8.000 players regularly participate in tournaments sanctioned by Badminton Canada
- The strategic plan for Badminton Canada includes a goal of winning 1 medal at the 2028 Olympic Games
Michelle Li paved the way for new Canadian badminton talents
Born in Hong Kong in 1991, Michelle moved to Canada with her brother and parents in 1997. She started playing badminton at age 11 with her mom at the local community center. Her international experience began at age 17.
Michelle Li achieved her highest ranking on 22 October 2019 when she reached number 8 on the women’s BWF World Ranking. This is in spite of several short- and long breaks from competitive badminton as a result of injuries.
In any event, Michelle Li has proven to other Canadian badminton players that it is indeed possible to make it to the top.
Canada’s growing Asian population promises good things for badminton
More than 1 in 5 Canadians are of Asian descent. In 2021 more than 7 million Canadians were of Asian origin or ancestry. And that number is growing. The majority of Asians in Canada can trace their roots back to just three countries. Namely; China, India, and the Philippines.
As you know, China and India are both badminton powerhouses. Therefore, it is no surprise that the badminton communities in Canada are dominated by badminton players with an Asian background.