Skip to main Content

The Legends’ Return to Birmingham—First Legends’ Vision of 2016

29 April 2016

One year on from the launch of the Legends’ Vision initiative, the Legends returned to where it all began - the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham, England. In an exclusive press conference held on March 7th, the four Legends–Peter Gade, Taufik Hidayat, Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan–shared their experiences from last year’s World Tour, as well as their hopes and plans for the future of the Legends’ Vision initiative.

The Legends’ Vision World Tour launched in May 2015 in Beijing, and continued through the year in Jakarta, Copenhagen and Kuala Lumpur at each of the Legends’ home countries. Representing Yonex and the sport of badminton, the four Legends took center stage at each of their home events to encourage participation in the sport that they love so much. With exciting exhibition matches and enthralling technical displays, the events drew huge crowds of badminton fans – especially the younger generation, who were excited to learn from the masters of the sport. “We hope that the four of us together have helped to inspire the younger generation and fueled their passion in the sport,” commented Lin Dan on the events throughout last year.

LV Birmingham 2016

As we look at the success of last year, Yonex looks at how the Legends’ Vision initiative will continue to promote the sport of badminton and inspire the next generation of badminton stars. 2016 will see the launch of a second phase of the initiative where a network of Yonex badminton stars are coming together in support of the four Legends and their visions to increase the profile of badminton worldwide. These supporting players are named Legends’ Vision Ambassadors and together will leave a long-lasting legacy for the future of badminton, working together to increase awareness of the sport in more localized areas of the globe. 

At the exclusive event, mixed doubles stars - Chris and Gabby Adcock - the first Ambassadors for the Legends’ Vision in the UK, joined the Legends on stage. The couple shared their plans to host a Legends’ Vision Ambassador event in Northampton on May 10th 2016. During this event, the doubles pair will be providing live demonstrations and playing on-court matches with children with the aim of increasing participation in badminton throughout the UK. As part of the event, they plan on introducing a ‘bring a buddy’ scheme to help encourage non-badminton players to get involved in the sport and really see its potential.

“We would like to follow in the footsteps of these four Legends, and do local events. We want to gather as many kids as possible, and have fun with them on court with us while teaching them techniques,” explained Chris when speaking of the upcoming event in May. His wife Gabby continued, “If we can get as many people as possible to pick up a racquet, we feel we will be fulfilling our roles. We are truly honored to support this sport along with these four athletes.”

2016 looks set to be a very exciting year with the launch of this second phase of the Legends’ Vision and also with the Olympic Games in Rio this summer. Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan are both at the pinnacles of their badminton careers, and will be fighting for a gold in the men’s singles. Plus, the Yonex doubles pair of Chris and Gabby are strong contenders for a mixed doubles medal in light of their recent BWF World Superseries Finals success.

LV Birmingham 2016