Which players have you met?

Discussion in 'Professional Players' started by Tybalt, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. Tybalt

    Tybalt Regular Member

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    I got the chance to take a photo with a few notable singles players when I was in Sydney this year. Viktor Axelsen was predictably good-hearted and walked around the general admission area taking photos with anyone who asked. I think badminton's status as a niche sport in Australia means players feel far more at ease, even in the stadium, when they play here. I walked past Sho Sasaki in the same area but only realised it was him after I'd passed.

    Kento Momota was, for some reason, stretching in the Yonex stall after his match one night when I left early. I walked over for a photo and tried to ask the Yonex guys if it was okay to do so or if they were running some kind of promotion for which I'd have to wait. I think my manner confused Momota and his coach who laughed with a kind of relief when it finally became clear to them I was just there for a photo. He was very cheery, which you'd expect of a player who just won his game, but he displayed no conversational English so I didn't glean much from his character.

    I also came across the entire Chinese team minus Lin Dan at the Opera House before they were driven to, I assume, the airport. Tian Houwei was asked by two girls who didn't know who he was to take a tourist photo of them and he kindly obliged them, in fact taking two photos for them just in case. He then took a photo with me which, in combination with the picture Sayaka Takahashi leant over a rail to give me, made for set of photos with both of the singles winners from the previous year's tournament. I walked away before spotting three other Chinese players at a cafe who I followed, upon my friend's encouragement, to their shuttle bus. I asked Fu Haifeng, who was sitting down on the curb, for a photo. He paused and said, "No, sorry." I walked away without bothering to ask any of the other players there. So, I've naturally taken a liking to cheering for whoever's on the other side of the net whenever Fu Haifeng is playing.

    Which players have you met, under what circumstances, and what impression did they leave on you?
     
  2. Justin L

    Justin L Regular Member

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    Fu Haifeng probably thought you were a reporter. Did you speak Mandarin to him and tell him who you are and what you wanted? As far as I know, he is quite a reserved person,taciturn, a man of few words who always fight shy of reporters. Whenever he's approached by reporters together with Cai Yun after a match, he would invariably leave the talking to Cai Yun. Worse if your opening word is in English, that's the response you'd get as he doesn't understand English. In fact he's well-liked among his peers and popular with the ladies too (somebody has posted a funny video of him and Wang Yihan teasing each other).

    In fact Cai Yun is the outspoken one, not afraid to voice his opinions and grouses whether to the press or on his microblogs; some of his criticisms of team leaders (eg his outburst during the Chinese National Games), officials and even his disagreements with LYB are well-known but their relationship is still good.
     
  3. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Fu Hai Feng consistently declines requests for photos with fans.

    It wasn't just you.
     
  4. Tybalt

    Tybalt Regular Member

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    A reporter, Justin? That's a really unlikely explanation.

    If that's true, Cheung, the guy can well and truly lower the drawbridge and commence the long hike to get over himself.
     
  5. fauci

    fauci Regular Member

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    In a couple of occasions, I happened to sit right next to some top 10 players from various countries. It was always that I sat down at an empty corner or at my booked seat and later found they came to the same place. Outside the courts, I've met many players who happened to just walk around. I've never ever asked any one of them for an autograph or a photo. I think it's natural that fans want to meet their favourite players, but when the match is over, like you and me, it's their private time. It's up to them whether they want further exposure or not, and I would never have bad opinions of players, which I think is childish, simply because they decline a request from you.
     
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  6. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    I think Fu doesn't like the limelight. But at least he's consistent with his feelings towards having photos taken.

    I have met quite a few players in the past. Some are very approachable, some you have to catch on a good mood. Just like ordinary human beings. Some are pretty shy or have little to say which is understandable - their lives and friends are just badminton related. How does one develop the skill to talk to strangers that want to invade you personal space? Something that the BWF can help players by training them for interviews and acting as public figures.

    Nicest story I have is LCW recognising me and coming over to say 'Hi' outside of the venue (not me going to say Hi to him). It pretty much impressed me because we have only met a couple times very infrequently and he could have easily ignored me and thought nothing more. He came over and shook my hand and we exchanged a short conversation. He was with some other people so I didn't want to take up his time.

    Posted the story up on Facebook and my relatives were going "you know LCW??..":D:D
    Street cred went up mile high after that. BTW, LCW must know a huge number of people so I am not really that special ;)
     
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  7. Edmund96

    Edmund96 Regular Member

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    I met Simon Santoso at the Singapore Open this year on Semi Finals day. He was sitting with his coach and another lady and i approached him for a photo and he kindly agreed to. I even shook hands with him and wished him luck and i totally did not expect him to win LCW ahaha
     
  8. Mark A

    Mark A Regular Member

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    Probably cheating, but Paul and I did have a few of the Korean and Taipei players in the flat when we strung the All England.

    From memory, Shin BC, Kim HN, Eom HW and Jang YN all stopped by (Paul pased Shin on the stairs on his way home on the second night, actually, but he got revenge later in week with a picture of Natsir:D).
     
  9. Tybalt

    Tybalt Regular Member

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    It's only natural. If you request two seconds of their lives to stand at an angle in a relaxed setting and they decline you for one stupid reason or another then the assumption is that they are egotistical. The idea that their responsibility to the sport ends as soon as they leave the court is simplistic and if you think consistently dismissing fans of the sport is a sustainable approach to badminton's image and popularity then we have different ideas of what an upstanding sportsman ought to be and I'm kinda glad you're not in charge of BWF'S PR. ;)

    That is a wonderful story! Why'd he recognise you? How had you met?
     
  10. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Introduced by a common friend. Perhaps I just made a good impression on him the first time :)
     
  11. fauci

    fauci Regular Member

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    First of all, I don't think declining a fan's photo request is the reason why the sport is not as popular as most of us here would want it to be. I can see that BWF and some tournament organizers are trying to bring the sport closer to fans by having post-match interviews, TV shows, promotional events and so forth, which I think is doing good for the sport. However, just as much as you would like to have a photo taken, a player's right to declining a photo shooting with you should be equally respected. Off court, it's their private time and they are not zoo animals for everybody's entertainment round the clock. They have no obligation whatsoever to fulfill your private wishes. If they agree, great, if not, you have no luck, and that's it. Why take it personally?

     
    #11 fauci, Oct 6, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
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  12. Fidget

    Fidget Regular Member

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    [MENTION=65533]fauci[/MENTION] : Well said, sir.
     
  13. vixter

    vixter Regular Member

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    I have met Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa. I walked up to them because I wanted Jwala's signature. Ashwini seemed a bit shy/bothered but was polite and took her time to write a nice signature including her 'best wishes'. Jwala seemed chill and cool and gave me an eye-wink when she handed me back my pen. ;)
     
  14. renbo

    renbo Regular Member

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    Wow, i think Ponappa is gorgeous! Must be nice to have a talk with her
     
  15. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    I agree with fauci and very well put.

    Any person has the right to refuse. Shouldn't think any less of the person for that.

    Mind you, if you were to offer money to have the photo, that might prove to be a better incentive.... :)
     
  16. jazzroll

    jazzroll Regular Member

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    shakehand with taufik hidayat on 2009, when he come to my place for exhibition match with LCW....
     
  17. Tybalt

    Tybalt Regular Member

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    "Well said"? "Well put"? He misrepresents my position leads into the point I am making.

    I never said it's "the reason" for badminton's limited popularity. You know that and I suspect everyone here is smarter than that. I said consistent denials for photographs affects a fan's connection to the sport, especially if the player is your favourite. You guys act like it's no big deal to you but if every player did what Fu Haifeng does the amount of disillusioned fans and damage to the sport's reputation would be worth addressing.

    Yes, it is his private time, and really that's my point. Let me answer some questions you never asked.

    How does a cool, kind person and a gracious, upstanding sportsman choose to act in his private time? Not like Fu Haifeng.

    Do I think the guy is a demon? No, but he's not doing what a better sportsman would. Fans make up plenty of stranger reasons, rooted in personal impression, to like and dislike players: "LD is arrogant"; "Andy Roddick is rude"; "Carolina Marin screams way too much". This is mine. That's not remotely abnormal and, as long as I don't hate and boo the man but rather just harbour a little natural resentment towards the player, it is far from childish. What a self-righteous criticism.

    Do you honestly expect that I would cheer for the guy? No, you don't, come on.

    Are there good reasons a player would deny a photograph? Sure, but the number of good reasons get slimmer for a case of a player denying all requests habitually.
     
    #17 Tybalt, Oct 6, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
  18. Justin L

    Justin L Regular Member

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    I agree with fauci, everyone is entitled to their private life and private space outside of the tournament venue in his own setting and the more so for Fu HF who I've explained always fight shy of reporters owing to his reserved, taciturn character. Cut him some slack.

    In fact, I've yet to come across a single TV interview of him, alone or with someone else, such as on CCTV. And like I said, even during post-match interviews with Cai Yun beside him, he hardly speaks and sometimes look uncomfortable (maybe he has a certain phobia in front of the camera?). I know by doing that he doesn't endear himself to the press nor to fans but let's respect him for what he is but, remember, for those who know him personally he is a different person altogether.

    In that fun video that I mentioned of him and WYH teasing each other, I suspect it was taken by a mutual friend using a handphone camera and posted on the microblog (not sure if his permission was sought beforehand).

    Incidentally, Wang Shixian is an outgoing and outspoken personality, I recall an exclusive CCTV interview of her alone lasting about 30 minutes - it was done after her victory at the Asian Games 2010 where she won both the tean and individual titles - and she conducted herself very well, enjoying the limelight. The said video was posted by azrenth in her thread, still there. Btw,there was another video of her doing a dance number with some teammates for a lunar new year programme for CBA.
     
    #18 Justin L, Oct 7, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2014
  19. Tybalt

    Tybalt Regular Member

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    I suspect you and I and most people who aren't fauci actually do agree for the important part.

    The discussion started with "I cheer for FHF's opponents now because he denied me an autograph" which is about the least controversial statement in the history of the world.

    Fauci says it's childish.

    I say "no it's not" and then make the secondary point that making a personal policy to always deny photographs, however, meaning you just decline at anytime anywhere is simply not cool and not respectable at all.

    I'm relatively sure most of you are focused on disagreeing with the secondary point than the first argument about childishness.

    It's such a natural response to at least subconsciously (but I'm more honest than to stop there) enjoy cheering against him if he has denied you a photograph. We make up reasons to cheer for one person or another all the time, from them having reactions we don't like in a competitive environment, or some circulating rumour you read, or their political opinions, to indeed their ignorance of or lack of interaction with fans.

    I don't hate the guy. I wouldn't boo him when he's playing, and if you think simply not cheering for someone because he denied you a photograph is childish then you're being simplistic and self-righteous because most people subscribe to some equally inconsequential reason not to cheer for some other player.

    I shouldn't even have to justify this.
     
  20. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Tybalt, we all have our likes and dislikes. However, you implied FHF was arrogant and aloof because he declined a photo. That is a little unfair. It may well be he is very self conscious or has a self image issue.

    Of course he hasn't endeared himself to you but I seriously doubt you or him will lose sleep over it :)
     

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