USA Badminton’s announcement about the Women’s Project aiming for the podium finish at the Olympics is a big step for badminton in the US. Credit should be given to USAB for making this happen with US Olympic Committee (USOC).
While this project is underway, female players under the age of 19, will be asked a huge question. “Can you fully commit to badminton to win a medal at the 2020 or 2024 Summer Olympics?”
According to Mohan Subramaniam, USAB Director of Coaching & High Performance, and Fred Coleman, USAB Board of Directors Chair/ Junior Advisory Group Chair, USOC will support only athletes who have the potential to have a podium finish at the Olympics. Sounds great, but what does that really mean? That means selected athletes will be training full-time, with little or no time for college after high school as well as no full-time job after.
USAB will be asking the players and their parents at the first training camp this summer if they can commit to the project. USAB will also educate them in what it takes for an athlete to win a medal.
The “Men’s Project” will be available if this women’s project brings success.
“Small step first,” as Coleman said, USAB pushed the Women’s Project because they believe a podium finish could be penetrable among the powerhouse Asian countries. While the women’s categories in the world used to be China-dominant for a long time, recently other countries like Denmark, Japan, Thailand, Korea, have started to win over China. The US players have a chance to win if the selected athletes have the training program to push their level as high as the world’s top players.
We hope to see US female athletes take this opportunity seriously to set a goal for an Olympics podium finish.