I have some sad badminton news.
At the recent tournament I played in, a man collapsed during his game. The tournament had doctors and some medical equipment on hand so help was nearby and they also immediately called the paramedics.
I wasn’t there when it happened. The local tournament is so big, with so many teams and players, it takes place over a few weeks and this happened the day before I played. But since I was captain of the team, and in a special captains chat group, they sent around a video of the man receiving CPR, and him clearly passed out and struggling to breath.
The video is only a few minutes long but you can see the paramedics arrive and take him away in a stretcher and you can see he is still breathing, albeit laboriously. I didn’t hear any news after that so when I played the next day I asked the badminton doctor about the guy. “Is he okay?” I asked.
“It doesn’t look good,” he said regretfully. “He’s still in ICU.”
After the tournament ended, later that day, we got the news. The guy had passed away.
I didn’t know him but the local badminton community was really good sending out well wishes to him and his family. They also made an article they passed around about him and his life. He was the same age as me, and he was a doctor himself. Many in the badminton community went to his funeral and was there for his family which I thought was very nice.
Badminton is not at all a dangerous sport. The most common injuries are tendon and muscle problems, no concussions, open wounds or bruising on your body. (Not normally anyway.) It is also a sport where you take small breaks all the time, and if you feel sick, you can just walk off the court. You are never far away from your water bottle and a chair.
So it’s pretty shocking this happened and more shocking because it happened so close to home. Badminton is vigorous but I never thought it was a heart-attack producing sport. It made me a little nervous for my coach and his court. It was lucky at this tournament there were doctors standing by, but in daily play there isn’t. There are many older guys, and overweight people, who regularly play badminton and what if they had a heart attack too? At my courts on a normal night? I know CPR because I was taught it in school, but I think most Chinese people don’t.
Anyway, I feel sorry for this (relatively) young doctor who died and it’s quite shocking. But (and I hope this doesn’t sound insensitive) if we could choose our way to go being on the badminton court, surrounded by your friends and having fun at a sport you love, would be high on my list. It beats a heart attack sitting in your car during rush hour traffic, or alone in your office at work. But I am sorry for this guy, and sorry for his family who lost him too soon.