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Thread: Bob Malaythong Website
07-03-2008, 03:44 PM #1
Bob Malaythong Website
hey guys bob malaythong, #1 doubles pair in the US with partner Howard Bach, has a new website check it out.
07-03-2008, 10:28 PM #2
..nice & good luck to him & Howard in the upcoming Beijing Olympics..
07-03-2008, 11:11 PM #3
He'll be appearing on the David Letterman show in the second week of August!
07-03-2008, 11:17 PM #4
07-03-2008, 11:26 PM #5
Anyway, it's all good for Bob. Howard had his minutes of fame on Conan O'Brien's show, a couple of months back. Now, i guess, it's Bob's turn...
07-03-2008, 11:50 PM #6
Just follow that link and scroll down to Television appearances, he also makes mention of that Vitamin Water commercial he taped back then. All the best to Bob and Howard, best of luck in beating our Canadian pair haha
07-31-2008, 03:28 PM #7
The Herald Tribune
Laotian-American badminton player's winding road, and heavy burden
By Greg Bishop
Thursday, July 31, 2008
ORANGE, California: Down the street from Disneyland, a 27-year-old who never had a childhood practices a kid's game that will take him to the Beijing Olympics.
Bob Malaythong is home here, on the courts of the Orange County Badminton Club, playing and teaching and living the game that defines him. He is home here, on courts sandwiched between a printing press and a Thai restaurant, smacking shuttlecocks behind his back, over his head, the sound - thwack! - inducing winces from opponents.
"Don't worry," Malaythong said. "Ortiz flinched exactly the same way."
Ortiz would be David Ortiz, the Boston Red Sox slugger. He teamed with Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher to play badminton against Malaythong and his partner, Howard Bach, in a national commercial for Vitamin Water.
The commercial ends with Ortiz spiking the shuttlecock deep into Malaythong's leg. Urlacher, the self-proclaimed badminton champion of the Bears' locker room, came away impressed. "Those dudes could smash it whenever they wanted," he said.
Urlacher will watch badminton during the Olympics with newfound appreciation for what it took Malaythong to make it to Beijing. He does not know the half of it.
Malaythong's road to Beijing wound from the family home in Laos, from where his sister escaped; to Maryland, where he first settled in the United States; to Colorado, where he cooked for Olympians; to California, where he became one.
"He has what we call a fighting spirit," said Rudy Gunawan, an Olympic silver medalist from Indonesia who helps USA Badminton.
Malaythong's sister Mary escaped Communist Laos in 1980 at age 18. "I was the oldest," Mary said. "The family was getting poor. It was hard for me, but I didn't see any future for my family. I had to escape."
She first crossed into Thailand, but not before swimming across a river and not before authorities held her at gunpoint. Six months in Thailand led to five months in the Philippines, until she received sponsorship to move to the United States.
Mary landed in Chicago, moved to Rockville, Maryland, and has not stopped working. For decades, she worked seven days a week, 12 to 15 hours a day, up to three jobs at a time. She nursed the elderly, worked on assembly lines. She never called in sick.
Back in Laos, Bob, the family's youngest child, was born in 1981. He remembers only snippets from the nine years he lived there. He remembers the winding dirt roads, the single pair of spandex underwear and the lonely pair of donated sneakers. He wore the shoes only for pictures. Mostly, he remembers his father, Nath, who drove a taxi and waxed philosophically during hot, windless nights on the porch.
"If you whistle, the trees will start blowing and the wind will follow," Nath told Bob.
In 1990, Malaythong and his mother moved from Laos to Mary's house in Maryland. Expectations included a college education, a good job, a family of his own. Hobbies stopped at two - baby-sitting for Mary's kids and badminton, the sport that consumed his dreams.
Malaythong drew different emotions from his sister's path, from her work ethic, from the family still in Laos. He drew strength. And he drew guilt.
"I do feel guilty," he said. "Badminton is just a game. It's not life or death. Sometimes, if I'm unmotivated, I think about people dying out there, living without shoes, without anything to eat. I consider myself lucky."
Six years later, Malaythong, 14, moved to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, where he lived for four years. He lived there on a tourist visa, training for badminton, going to high school and working a variety of jobs.
He made more money there than he ever dreamed of - $6, $7 an hour, enough to buy CDs and more than his father made driving cabs in Laos.
Malaythong moved to California with USA Badminton in 2000. There he was on his own, and admits he took the ease of his life in Colorado Springs for granted.
The burden grew. Each advancement in badminton served only to advance his guilt. Five siblings remained in Laos, all with families of their own. He wanted to help, but he made enough only to support himself. He had come to America to study, to make money and send it home. And here he was: single, living for free with a family, chasing a dream he was not sure his family would understand.
"They don't say it, but I feel it," he said. "The burden." An Olympic-size burden, one that kept Malaythong awake at night, kept him worried, quiet and reserved.
Worse still, his father died of pancreatic cancer in March.
Malaythong had promised Nath that he would make the Olympic team. He spoke dreamily of visiting Laos, triumphant, with something to show for all those years of smacking shuttlecocks instead of studying.
Nath was living in Maryland by then, and after Malaythong found out that his father had cancer, he went to see him. Nath died seven hours before his son arrived. He was 73.
"I always have a feeling he's looking over me," Malaythong said. "I have a feeling that he'll give me the strength when the time comes."
Malaythong recently went to a sports psychologist to talk about his burdens. More than anything, though, he needed to make the Olympic team, to prove to his father - and his family - that the sacrifices meant something.
When he did, Malaythong said he felt like Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning after he won the Super Bowl - as if 50,000 monkeys were flying off his back.
He started to redefine success, worrying less about the degrees he did not earn and the money he did not make, focusing on recognition and respect. Along the way, he learned to play badminton for the one person he found in this whole process - himself.
"Now, I am an Olympian," said Malaythong, who is not considered a medal favorite. "And I'm an Olympian for life."
Bach noticed a chance in his partner, a loosening, a man emerging from his shell. But it would be too easy to say the burden lifted. For instance, Malaythong did not tell his family about the commercial. Not enough time to watch it. But Mary, tipped by a co-worker, did see it.
"I'm so proud," she said.
Two versions of the perfect ending loom, In one, Malaythong stands next to Bach atop the podium, overwhelmed by pride, remembering the sacrifices - of his sister, of his father, of the family he now lives with - it took for him to get there. He shares the medal with everyone, family in Laos and in Maryland, coaches and supporters.
In the other, he loses in the Olympics, but no one can remove the fact that he made it there. He moves to Boston, where he has signed a contract to coach a youth badminton program, at once making money to send home and growing the kid's game that gave him the life he knows today.
Then he returns home, full circle, unburdened for the first time since childhood, an Olympian to boot
07-31-2008, 05:27 PM #8
..(as shared earlier in another thread)..Bob's appearance on the David Letterman's show, next month, is actually taped/recorded earlier.
07-31-2008, 07:03 PM #9
07-31-2008, 07:57 PM #10
Khan "Bob" Malaythong on American flight
And from AFP: click here .
====== * ====== start article ====== * ======
Laos-born shuttler on American flight
WASHINGTON, July 17: Khan "Bob" Malaythong cleaned the dirty dishes of other Olympic hopefuls and served burritos and cookies in shops, all to sustain his dream of serving shuttlecocks at the Olympics.
Now the Laos-born badminton player has achieved his dream of becoming a US Olympian, but is still trying to prove himself worthy of the sacrifices made to get there.
Malaythong's sister Mary risked death at 18 to escape Communist Laos before he was born, paving his path to America. His father Nath died of pancreatic cancer in March. His mother Seng and five children struggle to survive in Laos.
Malaythong battled 15 years to gain citizenship after coming to America on a tourist visa and staying, then supported his US Olympic Training Center work as a dishwasher, burrito maker and cookie baker. "It has been a long, hard road. I had thoughts of quitting at one time," he said.
The payoff comes next month at Beijing when Malaythong joins Vietnamese-born Howard Bach as the US Olympic men's doubles team, working for a medal that might open doors for him to help his family in Laos. "Winning a medal? My God it would justify everything.
It would be a cherry on top of the icing. Imagine for my country, Laos or America, to win a medal would be huge. It would open a gateway for so many things," Malaythong said. "I have a vow to myself. I will not go back until I'm successful. My family wants to see me, rich or poor. They miss me and they love me. But I have that responsibility, to take care of my family."
That is the dream which fuels Malaythong's Olympic quest as he tries to show his mother that his time spent playing badminton and waiting for US citizenship was worth the effort. "I'm not doing anything silly. I hope she understands why I do it and why it has taken this long," Malaythong said.
Malaythong barely missed seeing his late father before his death. "It was very hard," Malaythong said. "I was seven hours too late to see him. I hope I can make him proud."
Malaythong also hopes to visit his family in Laos in December. "I'm going to go back and I'm going to take care of my family. I want to give them a good life," he said. "I want to be worthy so I can give my money to them."
But Malaythong barely has any money. He coaches at a badminton club in suburban Los Angeles, living with a Taiwanese family for the past year. "I feel so bad not paying a penny. I've learned a lot about giving back," Malaythong said. "Hopefully we can open that gateway when we win that Olympic medal."
He owes much to his sister Mary, who fled Laos nearly 30 years ago, swimming across a river to Thailand after having a gun put to her head at one stage. "I wouldn't be here now if she hadn't survived," he said. "My mom didn't want her to go but she ran away. She knew she had to do something. She felt she was responsible for our well being. She made the right decision."
====== * ====== end article ====== * ======
It's great that Malaythong and Howard Bach are representing the USA Badminton @ Beijing 2008.
07-31-2008, 08:08 PM #11
that's unbelieveable. i have seen the guy many times in local tournaments. he looks like just a normal guy, quiet at times but often wear a big grin in his face. i never knew he had such a hard life. i have gain much more respect for him now.
best of luck in the Olympics.
Bob also reads BC, btw. he mentioned some of the photos i took of him in the tournaments here.
08-12-2008, 10:06 AM #12
Bob's Olympic pictures
He is also posting some pictures from his Olympic experience here:
08-12-2008, 08:27 PM #13
..watched his scheduled David Letterman's appearance?? have they shown it??..
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