Mar 8, 2013, 11:38 AM EDT
Atlanta Olympics badminton champ Paul-Erik Hoyer is worried his sport might be at risk of losing its Olympics status if it can’t expand worldwide.
“If we are not able to develop we could find ourselves no longer a global sport,” Hoyer explained. “Then we would be unable to achieve a higher position within Olympic sports.”
Badminton is incredibly popular in Asian countries, which have won 54 of the 60 medals since 2000 and swept the Beijing Games. But Hoyer, the only European to ever win badminton gold, believes the sport needs to focus on developing programs on all five continents if its expected to survive.
Of course, last summer’s scandal that saw athletes from three countries sanctioned for throwing matches won’t help, nor will the IOC’s willingness to eliminate wrestling. But Hoyer is likely to become the Badminton World Federation president later this year, and will aim to push his worldwide agenda.
“If we are to reach our potential we have to show the Olympic movement that we are really global.”
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