Michelle Li has determination like very few others. Without coach, team, or financial support, she has fought her way to the pinnacle of a sport that is wildly popular in Asia, but quite obscure in her home country. Just before COVID-19 brought sports to a standstill, we asked Canada’s only world top-10 badminton player to describe her unique situation:
Badminton has never been a popular sport on this side of the world. Years ago, I went through Canadian customs and had an officer ask me what badminton was. Caught completely off guard, I stared at him for a good few seconds, speechless. I honestly didn’t know how to answer the question. It was shocking and a bit sad to realize that all my effort was invested in a sport that some people didn’t even know existed.