Taiwan’s Tai Tzu Ying might have chosen a seemingly tame pursuit by taking up badminton compared to the battles her parents wage regularly as firefighters. But the one invaluable quality their tackling of life and death issues has taught her is to never give up.
The world No 8, playing for Banga Beats in the IBL, was kept in the safety of badminton courts by her parents from the time she was young. “They didn’t want me to get into firefighting like them,” the 19-year-old told HT. “They never wanted me to do something dangerous. They got me into badminton since they themselves play the game as a hobby.”
One of Tai’s highpoints in her career came earlier this year when she defeated Saina Nehwal in the Malaysia Open GP. Tai believes the life threatening situations her parents deal with have taught her a lot.
“I see the situations my parents face and the one thing they have taught me is to never give up. I learnt from them that no matter how tough the situation is, I should always fight it out,” she says, punching the air.
That attitude helped the teenager become the youngest Taiwan No 1, after she won the Taiwanese ranking competition at the age of 16 years, before going on to represent her country at the 2012 London Olympics.