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Ambassador Lin Dan: sport more than medals


14:56, March 13, 2013

Lin Dan posts during a photo call on the sideline of the Laureus World Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards 2013 at Municipal Theater in Rio de Janeiro March 11, 2013. (file photo)

Reigning Olympic and world badminton champion Lin Dan believes sport always means more than just competing and medals.

The 29-year-old was attending the Laureus World Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards as ambassador of the award in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, host city of the next Olympics in 2016.

As the world's most-decorated badminton player with 15 world titles and two Olympics gold medals, Lin hopes his fellow players hold on to their dreams. "Winning gold is not the aim, but to never give up to win," he said, insinuating his rollercoaster Olympic career from 2004 in Athens where he went on to be knocked out after the first round.

"Athletes are alone on court with no one to turn to but themselves."

The well-built and neat-cut-haired man, who has an army of adorable fans, said "Athletes are not those who are simply for competing, but for acting to promote the sport and modeling for people."

China began to tip the Laureus realm in 2003 when Yao Ming was awarded with Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year for his performance in the NBA and his influence on the sport in Asia. Olympic hurdling champion and French Open champion Li Na carried hope in latter awards but ended up leaving empty handed.

But Lin believes more Chinese athletes will have the chance to be nominated as he was traveling with some countrymen including Olympic swimming champion Ye Shiwen and table tennis champion Zhang Jike for the Laureus tour while he represented China by himself last year in London.

Ye was nominated for the breakthrough award and Zhang, representing his team, is competing for the team laureates, both finished in vein.

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