30 Reasons To Watch: #14
Will Lin Dan of China (can you say “Lin-Danity?”) become the second “Lin” sports star of the year by living up to his billing as the greatest badminton player ever?
(Photo by Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images)
By Mike Tierney, Special to Universal Sports
The hoopla generated by NBA player Jeremy Lin, which became forever known as Lin-Sanity, has nothing on the frenzy caused by an overseas Lin. Dare we call it Lin-Danity?
Lin Dan is not just a badminton player in shuttlecock-crazed China, but the world’s leading man, by far. His resume, topped by a gold medal in Beijing and four world championships, only scratches the surface of his appeal. Or notoriety.
Lin is notoriously short-tempered, having reportedly punched his own coach and tossed his racket at an opposing coach. He is demonstrative during matches, pumping his fist and pacing across the court. His victory celebrations sometimes are over the top — making snow-angel gestures, for one — prompting criticism for perceived arrogance. And he remains a heartthrob to young Chinese women, even after marrying the country’s premier female player.
He is one of few seemingly can’t-miss favorites in London. To predict that anyone else will wear the men’s badminton gold would be . . . Lin-sane.