BWF President hails Worthy Recognition Sir Craig

The global badminton fraternity celebrates the ascension of one of its finest servants, Sir Craig Reedie, to the post of Vice-President of the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board.

A former president of the International Badminton Federation – the precursor to the Badminton World Federation (BWF) – Sir Craig was elected at the IOC Session in London today. He is the second Briton to hold this position, following Lord Burghley – the 1928 Olympic 400m hurdles champion – who stood down from the office in 1966. He has been a member of the IOC Executive Board since October 2009.

The Executive Board manages the affairs of the IOC. Among its responsibilities are: ensuring the observance of the Olympic Charter; overseeing the administration of the IOC; enacting codes, rulings, norms, guidelines, guides and instructions where necessary to ensure the proper implementation of the Olympic Charter; and organising the Olympic Games. The Board is chaired by the IOC president and comprises four vice presidents and ten other members.

Lauding Sir Craig’s elevation, BWF President Dr Kang Young Joong hailed the achievement as testimony to Sir Craig’s “dedicated and distinguished service to sports over several years”.

“We at Badminton World Federation are particularly proud to witness the election of one of our own to this prestigious position within the Olympic movement. It is an honour of which he is indeed worthy.

“We extend sincerest congratulations to Sir Craig and we are certain his vast reservoir of knowledge and experience will continue to stand him and the IOC in admirable stead.”

Sir Craig, a 71-year-old sports administrator, was one of the key figures in London’s successful Olympics and Paralympics bid – for which he was knighted – and it is fitting that his latest accolade comes on the eve of the Summer Games’ Opening Ceremony tomorrow. A former chairman of the British Olympic Association (BOA) from 1992 to 2005, he was the driving force behind badminton’s admission to the Olympic programme in Barcelona in 1992.

Another Starry Accomplishment in Li Lingwei’s brilliant Career

Li Lingwei – a true badminton superstar in her heyday – rose to new heights today, becoming one of the newest members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The Chinese legend, now a Council Member of the Badminton World Federation (BWF), was among five newcomers voted into the IOC’s inner sanctum at its 124th Session in London ahead of the Olympic Games. The others are Aisha Garad Ali (Djibouti), Pierre-Olivier Beckers (Belgium), Tsunekazu Takeda (Japan) and Frank Fredericks (Namibia).

This achievement is the latest in a stellar career which saw Li Lingwei dominate women’s badminton in the 1980s – winning more than 50 grand prix and international titles (including being triple gold medallist at the World Championships and leading her country to three Uber Cup victories) – before sharing her skills and knowledge in coaching and later administration, including pivotal involvement in the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The 48-year-old has served on the Chinese Olympic Committee’s Executive Board since 2004 and on the IOC’s Programme Commission since 2006.

Saluting her election to the IOC, BWF president Dr Kang Young Joong said Li Lingwei has been “an outstanding ambassador for her country and sport, especially badminton and we in the badminton family are proud of her”.

“Today’s election is not just an honour for Li Lingwei but it is a credit to badminton. She is respected internationally and we know that, in her unique, way she will distinguish herself in this new role. We extend our warmest congratulations to this icon of our sport.”

In recognition of her exemplary service to badminton, Li Lingwei received the Distinguished Service Award in 1994 by the Council of the then International Badminton Federation (IBF) and four years later was inducted into its Hall of Fame; the preserve of players and administrators who have enhanced badminton through exceptional achievements.

As a member of the IOC, she will represent and promote the interests of the IOC and of the Olympic Movement in her country and in the organisations of the Olympic Movement in which she serves. —- BWF

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