RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - All the world, except possibly for the United States, is in a tizzy of anticipation to see who is going to qualify to compete in badminton at the Summer Olympics in Rio in 2016.
China, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea have sent the most athletes (as many as 20 Chinese competitors one year) to the past six Olympic badminton competitions. Denmark and Britain used to send more, but they have slacked off in the past two Olympics, probably because China, South Korea, and Indonesia always win most of the medals. China has won 38 out of 91 medals in six Summer Olympics.
Japan, not a country to easily give up at anything, continues to send up to 11 competitors to participate in badminton, although they have only won one silver medal thus far.
Explains Chinese badminton expert, Zhang Wei, "In our country the government pays all the expenses for the athletes so we can concentrate on our sports. We are not distracted by economic concerns. We are also a very tactile country with highly developed fine motor coordination, which means we excel at arts and crafts, as well as ping pong and badminton. There is actually a China Badminton Super League in our country which features all the top Chinese players as well as some top international players. We have tons of fans!"
In contrast, the U.S. has sent, at most, six athletes to participate in badminton and has never, ever won a medal. That fact alone may account for the general lack of enthusiasm by the U.S. sport's community and fans, or it may be that Americans consider badminton only 2nd to croquet as being the most boring game in the world.