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Thread: Susan Egelstaff retires
10-26-2012, 06:56 PM #1
Susan Egelstaff retires
Scotland's Susan Egelstaff retires from badminton after Olympics
24 October 2012
...The 30-year-old overcame a leg injury to compete at London 2012 but does not have the desire to continue competing.
The 2006 Commonwealth bronze medallist said realising her ambition to compete at the Olympics was the perfect way to end her career.
"I don't feel I have the motivation needed to give everything in training every day any more," she explained.
..."Qualifying for the Olympics had been a goal of mine for almost 20 years so to have achieved it this summer, and to have played so well in London makes me feel like this is the perfect way to go out," Egelstaff said.
Egelstaff made more than 90 international appearances since making her international debut for Scotland in 2000.
She won team bronze at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, took women's singles bronze four years later in Melbourne, and finished fourth in the singles in Delhi.
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10-26-2012, 07:00 PM #2
And the tributes pour in....
The 30-year-old from Clarkston bows out with a Commonwealth team bronze and an individual women’s singles bronze - as well as holding the distinction of being the first Scot to win a match in an Olympic Games after representing Team GB at London 2012.
In a 12-year career on the international circuit Egelstaff won a number of tournaments as well as reaching a career-best 19 in the world rankings. One of the highlights was winning the Scottish International Championships at the Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena in 2009 after several years of coming close.
Susan was also a member of the Scotland team which won the bronze medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and won the women’s singles bronze medal at the 2006 Games in Melbourne.
“I think that now is the right time for me to retire because I don’t feel I have the motivation that’s needed to give everything in training every day any more,” explained Egelstaff today. “That being the case, I would never want to continue and not give it 100 per cent. I feel if I did that I wouldn’t be doing justice to myself, to the sport or to everyone who helps me.
“I’ve had a fantastic career, I’ve been so lucky to have had the chance to be a full-time athlete for so long and to have had so much support and help from so many people. I’ve had some amazing experiences and met so many brilliant people along the way.
“Qualifying for the Olympics had been a goal of mine for almost 20 years so to have achieved it this summer, and to have played so well in London, makes me feel like this is the perfect way to go out.
“While I am, of course, very sad that my career is at an end, I am excited about doing new things and beginning a new chapter in my life. I’m definitely going to stay involved in badminton and the next couple of years will be a really exciting time for the sport with the Commonwealth Games coming up.”
...Anne Smillie, Chief Executive of BADMINTONscotland, led the tributes commenting: “She has carried the responsibility of being Scotland’s top women’s singles player in tournaments and team events for a long time and has been an inspiration to the crop of young players looking to follow in her footsteps.
...“She has been an outstanding servant to Scottish badminton.”
10-26-2012, 07:10 PM #3
In Team GB attire...
After winning her opening match at OG 2012...
As Susan Hughes, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the University of Stirling, where she graduated with a BA Hons in Psychology and Sports Studies in 2006...
Her last match, at the OG...
10-26-2012, 07:16 PM #4
A poignant account...
Road to Glasgow proves too long for Egelstaff
Wednesday 24 October 2012
..."I walked off and said to myself: 'That is the last game of badminton I will every play'. I knew that for definite. That was on July 31 and I have not wanted to pick up a racket since. That says it all."
...The road that started as a nine-year-old had ended 21 years later at the highest level of the sport. Yet Egelstaff waited until yesterday to announce her official retirement from the sport. "I was aware that my emotions were all over the place and there is always the danger that you are not thinking straight after all the stress and hype of making the Olympics. But I became even more convinced that I should retire. It's over."
...Fundamentally, she has been a professional athlete for 14 years, though she did also graduate with a degree in psychology from Stirling University. This educational achievement is intriguing for Egelstaff is a positive thinker of Olympian proportions. She is so sunny that the unwitting interviewer is tempted to don shades.
Her retirement is described thus: "I am not sad because I think I am making the right decision and I am excited about doing other stuff."
..."I have given things up. I do not drink that much and do not go out that often. But that is not really sacrifice. I would do it all a million times over. I did not want to be normal. I wanted to play sport at the top level and I wanted to go to the Olympics. I did that so who cares about giving up a few things."
...Egelstaff, married to a sports brand manager and living in Clarkston, will devote her time to media work and to being an ambassador for Badminton Scotland. Her retirement will be accompanied by a sense of gratitude that goes beyond the realisation that badminton gave her paid employment for 14 years. "It has certainly toughened me up." she says. "You have to learn to be resilient, to be able to take defeat, learn from it and move on. You have to be able to take criticism too."
She tells a tale about struggling when returning from her knee injury. "I was toiling on defence in training and was almost in tears. My Chinese coach approached me and asked why I was getting upset. I was thinking that she was usually so tough and this was a softer side of her I had not seen."
This notion was almost immediately dispelled. "Then she basically told me that she could not understand why I was so upset when my defence had always been crap." This anecdote is accompanied by a huge laugh.
She concedes she is leaving an arena where she is well-known for an uncertain future in the world. "I have never had a job interview and now I will be faced with the big question: 'Who are you?' "
A successful and testing career on court has given her the self-knowledge to answer that question with some certainty.