They say, a child is moulded by how you try to mould him. However, Lin Dan was the opposite. His parents wanted him to master the piano but he went with his heart and mastered Badminton instead, by starting training at the tender age of five. His achievements in the sport speak volumes of his decision’s success.
Hailing from China, the 32-year-old shuttler has brought home the Olympic gold twice while also winning the All-England championship five times. Dan is the only badminton player to defend his gold medal successfully at the Olympics, during the 2012 edition. The mercurial player achieved the stupendous feat of having claimed all the nine major badminton titles - the only player to achieve this feat- at the age of just 28.
Dan has also been totally dominant in the Asian circle, winning four golds in Asian Games and Asian Championships apiece. The World Cup has also seen Dan achieve tremendous success with two golds. He also had a good run in the Thomas Cup, earning 5 golds.
Lin Dan gained the aptly popular tag 'Super Dan' from rival Peter Gade in 2004 whom he defeated in the final of the All England Championship.
The Super Grand Slam
A true champion in every sense of the word, Dan has appeared in 78 finals in his career, winning a whopping 58 titles. By the age of 28, which is when people say players mature, Lin Dan had completed the “Super Grand Slam,” which means to have won all 9 major titles in the sport.
Dan's progress from his childhood years was swift and was always marked for greatness. He broke into the People's Liberation Army Sports team at the age of 13 and donned the national colours after the prodigy joined the Chinese squad when he was 18.
A man who had an aura of invincibility throughout his career, Dan released his autobiography the day he defended his men’s singles title at the London Olympic Games. Titled "Until the End of the World", the book is a gift to his fans for their overwhelming love and support. The Chinese legend also has a tattoo with similar words, to signify that his relationship with his wife Xie Xingfang would last forever.