Li Lingwei

Li Lingwei (Chinese: 李玲蔚, born January 4, 1964)[1] is a Chinese badminton player of the 1980s who ranks among the greatest in the history of the women's game.[2] Elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee in 2012. In December 2016, she was elected Vice President of the Chinese Olympic Committee. Li is heavily involved in improving women’s participation and fair representation in sport.

Li Lingwei
李玲蔚
Personal information
Country China
Born (1964-01-04) January 4, 1964 (age 57)
Lishui, Zhejiang, China
Handednessright
Highest ranking1
Current rankingNow retired

Early yearsEdit

Born in Lishui, Zhejiang, China, Li Lingwei came into the world as a newborn weighing a mere 4 pounds on January 4, 1964. Worried about Li’s health, her mother encouraged her to participate in non-contact sports such as badminton but Li indiscriminately loved sports. During her childhood, Li impressed everyone with sporting results such as finishing in first place in the 400-meter run. In 1975 the 11-year-old Li Lingwei was selected to the Zhejiang Provincial Badminton Team; five years later in 1980, she won the National Youth Badminton singles competition and the adult group's doubles championship. After that, she was selected to the national badminton team. In the national team she learned both her renowned physical and mental skills from her coach Chen Fushou. She entered the 1981 Alba Quartz World Cup at the tender age of 17 years old reaching her first international final.

CareerEdit

Athletic careerEdit

A brilliant all-around player whose court coverage and net play were particularly impressive, she maintained a narrow won/lost edge on her teammate, rival, and sometimes doubles partner Han Aiping. They dominated international women's badminton during most of the 1980s, each winning the then biennial IBF World Championships (now known as BWF World Championships) twice, and winning the IBF World doubles, together, in 1985. They also led Chinese teams that perennially won the biennial Uber Cup (women's world team) competitions.[3] Li Lingwei won the singles crown at the IBF World Championships in 1983 and 1989. She won Silver at the 1987 World Championships and a Bronze medal at the 1985 World Championships. Li won over 40 open international titles around the world. Besides the three World Championship gold medals her major results included four gold medals in the World Grand Prix Finals, two All England Singles titles, and one All England Women’s Doubles title. Li was also part of the pioneer team which won the first Uber Cup for China in 1984. From 1984 to 1987 Li won four consecutive crowns at the Badminton World Cups in the women's singles event plus three titles in the women's doubles event in 1983, 1986 and 1987.

She retired in 1989, and was inducted into the Badminton Hall of Fame in 1998.[4]

Coaching careerEdit

After retiring in 1989, Li entered the University of Hangzhou to transfer her skills from playing to coaching. In 1991 Li Ling Wei returned to China's national badminton team, serving as assistant coach of the national team and, starting in December 1994, as head coach of the women's team. She coached the Chinese women's badminton team that won the 1998 Uber Cup Championship. Over the course of her coaching career, Li cultivated top players such as Ye Zhaoying, Gong Zhichao, Gong Ruina and Dai Yun to follow in her footsteps.

Administrative careerEdit

Li has always been a strong advocate of women’s rights and has been heavily involved in improving women’s participation and fair representation in world sports bodies such as the BWF and the IOC. Li has stated that, “as women, we have to work harder because we have so many roles to play – mother, daughter or wife – so most of us are in a very challenging situation. We have to work harder than men, otherwise we can’t achieve our goals.” She believed that in comparison to other sports, “badminton is achieving a lot of positive goals, in women’s participation for example, and with equal prize money. And it is the same with participation at events. It was very natural that she became the Vice-Chair of the Women’s Commission of the BWF in 2009. Li has also been serving as the Deputy Chair of the International Relations Commission of the BWF. Despite being heavily involved with multiple associations, Li still found the time to work as the Deputy Director in the International Relations Department for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Organizing Committee (BOCOG) from 2003 to 2008.

On May 12, 2002, when she was Chinese Badminton Association Vice-President, Li Ling Wei was elected as IBF member of Council, becoming one of only three women in the council. During her tenure she was also admitted to a doctoral degree at Beijing Sport University, specializing in sociology. In 2003 Li Lingwei was elected as a member of the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and became the only member of the CPPCC National Committee to have been a badminton player. In the same year she was transferred to the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee's Sports Department as a second-level project expert, and then transferred to the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee's International Liaison Department. After the 2012 Beijing Olympic Games she was promoted to the deputy director of the China National Sports General Administration Table Tennis Badminton Management Center, and returned to the Chinese badminton team again after 10 years. In December 2010 Li Lingwei became the deputy director of the Network Management Center of the State Sports General Administration of China, replacing the retired Gao Shenyang.

Li Lingwei never competed in the Olympics because badminton did not become an Olympic sport until 1992. However, she was chosen as one of the five retired athletes to carry the Olympic flag during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In July 2012, she was elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee, receiving 83 votes out of 94. IOC president Jacques Rogge presented her with an "IOC gold medal".[4]

In March 2015 Li Lingwei served as the director of the tennis sports management center and secretary of the party committee, from the official to the main hall level. On December 28, 2016 Li Lingwei was elected as Vice Chairman of the Chinese Olympic Committee in the Plenary Session of this organisation.

AchievementsEdit

World ChampionshipsEdit

Women's singles

Year Venue Opponent Score Result
1989 Senayan Sports Complex, Jakarta, Indonesia   Huang Hua 11–6, 12–9   Gold
1987 Capital Indoor Stadium, Beijing, China   Han Aiping 12–10, 4–11, 7–11   Silver
1985 Olympic Saddledome, Calgary, Canada   Wu Jianqiu 7–11, 9–12   Bronze
1983 Brøndbyhallen, Copenhagen, Denmark   Han Aiping 11–8, 6–11, 11–7   Gold

Women's doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
1987 Capital Indoor Stadium, Beijing, China   Han Aiping   Guan Weizhen
  Lin Ying
7–15, 8–15   Silver
1985 Olympic Saddledome, Calgary, Canada   Han Aiping   Lin Ying
  Wu Dixi
15–9, 14–18, 15–9   Gold

World CupEdit

Women's singles

Year Venue Opponent Score Result
1988 National Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand   Han Aiping 11–5, 6–11, 0–11   Silver
1987 Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   Han Aiping 11–8, 11–8   Gold
1986 Istora Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia   Han Aiping 11–8, 11–3   Gold
1985 Istora Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia   Ivana Lie 11–3, 11–2   Gold
1984 Istora Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia   Han Aiping 10–12, 11–4, 11–7   Gold
1983 Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   Han Aiping 5–11, 1–11   Bronze
1981 Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   Chen Ruizhen 10–12, 11–2, 7–11   Silver

Women's doubles

Year Venue Partner Opponent Score Result
1987 Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   Han Aiping   Guan Weizhen
  Lin Ying
15–10, 11–15, 15–5   Gold
1986 Istora Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia   Han Aiping   Imelda Wiguna
  Rosiana Tendean
15–7, 15–7   Gold
1985 Istora Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia   Han Aiping   Kim Yun-ja
  Yoo Sang-hee
11–15, 15–11, 3–15   Bronze
1984 Istora Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia   Gillian Gilks   Lin Ying
  Wu Dixi
3–15, 7–15   Bronze
1983 Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   Han Aiping   Wu Jianqiu
  Xu Rong
6–15, 15–8, 15–5   Gold

Asian GamesEdit

Women's singles

Year Venue Opponent Score Result
1986 Olympic Gymnastics Arena, Seoul, South Korea   Han Aiping 6–11, 9–11   Silver
1982 New Delhi, India   Zhang Ailing 6–11, 8–11   Silver

Open tournamentsEdit

Women's singles

Year Tournament Opponent Score Result
1982 All England Open   Zhang Ailing 4–11, 6–11   Runner-up
1982 Japan Open   Fumiko Tōkairin 11–2, 11–2   Winner

IBF Grand PrixEdit

The World Badminton Grand Prix sanctioned by International Badminton Federation (IBF) from 1983 to 2006.

Women's singles

Year Tournament Opponent Score Result
1983 Grand Prix Finals   Han Aiping 11–0, 4–11, 11–4   Winner
1984 Indonesian Open   Wu Jianqiu 11–7, 11–4   Winner
1984 Malaysian Open   Wu Jianqiu 6–11, 11–8, 11–8   Winner
1984 All England Open   Han Aiping 11–5, 11–8   Winner
1985 Indonesia Open   Han Aiping 11–9, 11–8   Winner
1985 All England Open   Han Aiping 7–11, 10–12   Runner-up
1985 Swedish Open   Han Aiping 8–11, 11–8, 10–12   Runner-up
1985 Grand Prix Finals   Han Aiping 11–3, 11–3   Winner
1986 Hong Kong Open   Han Aiping 10–12, 11–8, 12–10   Winner
1986 Japan Open   Han Aiping 4–11, 12–9, 12–9   Winner
1986 China Open   Han Aiping 3–11, 6–11   Runner-up
1986 Grand Prix Finals   Han Aiping 11–5, 11–3   Winner
1987 Indonesia Open   Shi Wen 12–10, 11–6   Winner
1987 Malaysian Open   Han Aiping 11–3, 2–11, 12–9   Winner
1987 Japan Open   Hwang Hye-young 11–3, 11–6   Winner
1987 Scandinavian Open   Qian Ping 11–9, 11–6   Winner
1987 China Open   Han Aiping 6–11, 11–5, 12–10   Winner
1987 Grand Prix Finals   Han Aiping 11–8, 11–5   Winner
1988 Indonesian Open   Hwang Hye-young 11–5, 11–6   Winner
1988 China Open   Huang Hua 11–1, 7–11, 11–9   Winner
1988 Thailand Open   Huang Hua 3–11, 11–6, 11–6   Winner
1988 English Masters   Han Aiping 4–11, 11–5, 12–9   Winner
1988 Denmark Open   Han Aiping 11–7, 11–7   Winner
1988 Malaysian Open   Han Aiping 7–11, 3–11   Runner-up
1989 All England Open   Susi Susanti 11–8, 11–4   Winner
1989 Japan Open   Huang Hua 11–4, 11–2   Winner
1989 French Open   Zhou Lei 11–5, 11–3   Winner
1989 Swedish Open   Sun Xiaoqing 11–8, 11–3   Winner

Women's doubles

Year Tournament Partner Opponent Score Result
1985 Indonesian Open   Han Aiping   Ivana Lie
  Rosiana Tendean
15–7, 15–8   Winner
1985 All England Open   Han Aiping   Wu Dixi
  Lin Ying
15–7, 15–12   Winner
1985 Swedish Open   Han Aiping   Wu Jianqiu
  Guan Weizhen
15–12, 15–6   Winner
1986 Hong Kong Open   Han Aiping   Guan Weizhen
  Lao Yujing
18–15, 15–9   Winner
1986 Japan Open   Han Aiping   Wu Dixi
  Lin Ying
4–15, 8–15   Runner-up
1987 Scandinavian Open   Qian Ping   Guan Weizhen
  Lin Ying
1–15, 8–15   Runner-up
1989 French Open   Chiu Mei Yin   Zhou Lei
  Sun Xiaoqing
9–15, 10–15   Runner-up

Invitation tournamentEdit

Women's singles

Year Tournament Opponent Score Result
1985 Malaysian Masters   Han Aiping 6–11, 10–12   Runner-up

Women's doubles

Year Tournament Partner Opponent Score Result
1985 Malaysian Masters   Han Aiping   Wu Dixi
  Lin Ying
5–15, 15–12, 15–12   Winner

Personal honorEdit

With all of her hard work on and off the court, Li was more than worthy of receiving countless honors. Li won the national award for " Best Athlete" in 1980 and the "Best International Athlete" title in 1985. Li Lingwei was awarded the title of "Sports Elite" and "International Sports Elite" in 1980 and 1985 respectively, and was awarded the "Sports Medal of Honor" by the State Sports Commission seven times. In addition, she has been selected as the "Top Ten National Athletes" for four consecutive times since 1984. In 1989 she was also named as one of China's outstanding athletes in the past 40 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

In terms of honor in the badminton world, Li Lingwei was awarded the international badminton Distinguished Service Award called "Outstanding Achievement Award" by the International Badminton Federation in 1994; and was inducted into the Badminton Hall of Fame 4 years later in 1998. Li Lingwei used to be the torchbearer of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. And at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games as the flag bearer of the Olympic Games. For her Olympic involvement, the IOC honored her with the Women and Sport Award in March 2008.

She also received Medals of Honor of the World Labor Day in China and of the Women’s Day in China.

For her coaching contributions, Li was named one of the National “Top 10 Coaches of the Year” in 1997 and 1998.

She is a representative of the Ninth National People's Congress, a member of the Standing Committee of the Twelfth National People's Congress, and a member of the Tenth and Eleventh National People's Political Consultative Conference.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ms. Lingwei Li". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  2. ^ "LI LINGWEI". bwfmuseum.isida.pro.com. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  3. ^ "History Of Badminton". Badminton Secrets. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
  4. ^ a b Chan Kin-wa (27 July 2012). "Badminton legend Li Lingwei wins IOC seat". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 6 May 2015.