Jakarta. Indonesian badminton player Greysia Polii puts an end to her acclaimed career during an emotional statement in front of the country’s top sports officials and hundreds of Indonesian fans on Sunday.
Greysia, who won the women’s doubles gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics, said she has dedicated almost her entire life to the sport she loves.
“It’s been a very long journey. It took me 30 years to finally achieve my childhood dream thanks to the support from the Indonesian people, my family, and my friends,” she said at the Senayan Sports Stadium in Central Jakarta where the week-long Indonesia Masters tournament is coming to a conclusion.
The ceremony was also attended by Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali, Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) Chairman Agung Firman Sampurna, and National Olympic Committee Chairman Raja Sapta Oktohari.
"Minister Zainudin once told me that badminton is in my blood. During my entire life, I spent five years without badminton and the next 30 years playing it,” she said.
It took seven Olympics since badminton became a medal event at the 1992 Barcelona Games until Indonesia won its first gold medal in women’s doubles.
Greysia didn’t immediately rise to the top and she has changed partners in court many times during her time with the national team including Heni Budiman, Jo Novita, Meiliana Jauhari, Vita Marissa, Nitya Krishinda Maheswari, and Apriyani Rahayu.
It was Apriyani who helped her beat Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan in the Olympic final to end Chinese domination in women's doubles.
Greysia almost retired from the sport after the 2016 Games due to injuries.
“Sometimes I thought I didn’t belong here [the national training camp] so I am really thankful to God and those who keep supporting me,” she said.