Li Lingwei (Chinese: 李玲蔚, born January 4, 1964) is a Chinese badminton player of the 1980s who ranks among the greatest in the history of the women's game. 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.
|Born||January 4, 1964|
Lishui, Zhejiang, China
|Current ranking||Now retired|
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.
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. 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.
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.
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".
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.
|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|
|1987||Capital Indoor Stadium, Beijing, China||Han Aiping|| Guan Weizhen
|1985||Olympic Saddledome, Calgary, Canada||Han Aiping|| Lin Ying
|15–9, 14–18, 15–9||Gold|
|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|
|1987||Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Han Aiping|| Guan Weizhen
|15–10, 11–15, 15–5||Gold|
|1986||Istora Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia||Han Aiping|| Imelda Wiguna
|1985||Istora Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia||Han Aiping|| Kim Yun-ja
|11–15, 15–11, 3–15||Bronze|
|1984||Istora Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia||Gillian Gilks|| Lin Ying
|1983||Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Han Aiping|| Wu Jianqiu
|6–15, 15–8, 15–5||Gold|
|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|
|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.
|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|
|1985||Indonesian Open||Han Aiping|| Ivana Lie
|1985||All England Open||Han Aiping|| Wu Dixi
|1985||Swedish Open||Han Aiping|| Wu Jianqiu
|1986||Hong Kong Open||Han Aiping|| Guan Weizhen
|1986||Japan Open||Han Aiping|| Wu Dixi
|1987||Scandinavian Open||Qian Ping|| Guan Weizhen
|1989||French Open||Chiu Mei Yin|| Zhou Lei
|1985||Malaysian Masters||Han Aiping||6–11, 10–12||Runner-up|
|1985||Malaysian Masters||Han Aiping|| Wu Dixi
|5–15, 15–12, 15–12||Winner|
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.
- "Ms. Lingwei Li". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- "LI LINGWEI". bwfmuseum.isida.pro.com. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
- "History Of Badminton". Badminton Secrets. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
- Chan Kin-wa (27 July 2012). "Badminton legend Li Lingwei wins IOC seat". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 6 May 2015.