After close to two decades of bringing glory to Malaysia through badminton, legendary Malaysian shuttler Lee Chong Wei is calling it a day.
The 36-year-old made an official announcement at the Youth and Sports Minister’s office in Putrajaya on Thursday (13 June).
"After 19 years in the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), I want to announce my retirement," Lee said in a press conference today.
Training for such a high intensity sport like badminton is very tough, especially with this current health condition and recovery period. So after discussing with his family and the association, he decided to officially retire.
"This was a heavy decision for me to make because I really love the sport. But now, my health is more important for me.
"I would like to thank everyone for all your support for the past 19 years. I am very proud to be able to wear the national jersey and represent Malaysia all around the world.
"Lastly, I want to thank you, Malaysia."
According to an earlier report by The Star Online
, the 36-year-old likely made decision to avoid a relapse of his nose cancer, after he was diagnosed with it in July last year.
He returned to training in January last year after undergoing treatment in Taiwan, but he has yet to return to action since.
Even though Chong Wei had made it clear numerous times that he will be delaying his retirement to focus on qualifying for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, his dream of competing in his fourth Olympic Games was dashed after pulling out of the Malaysia Open in April.
Lee Chong Wei And His Almost Impossible Mission Of Reaching The 2020 Olympics
At the press conference, Minister of Youth and Sports Syed Saddiq bin Syed Abdul Rahman also announced that Chong Wei will be appointed as the Chef de Mission at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Who better to carry the Malaysian flag next year than our long-time national hero?
Among the most prominent achievements in the badminton great’s illustrious career are winning three silver Olympic medals, becoming runner-up in three world championships and winning 69 singles titles.
He also held the world number one spot for 199 consecutive weeks, from 21 August 2008 to 14 June 2012.
So, what is he going to do now?
"I will take this time to rest. And since getting married in 2012, I still owe my wife a honeymoon. So, I will be spending more time with my wife and family."
Have a happy retirement, LCW! Malaysia will definitely miss you!