Oliver badminton player nets bronze at Canada 55+ Games

John Hong of Oliver returned home from the Canada 55+ Games with a bronze medal in badminton

JOHN HONG of Oliver won bronze in badminton at the 2016 Canada 55+ Games in Brampton

JOHN HONG of Oliver won bronze in badminton at the 2016 Canada 55+ Games in Brampton

Oliver’s John Hong didn’t come home empty-handed from the 2016 Canada 55+ Games in Brampton, Ont., Aug.16 to 19.

However, earning bronze in badminton pairs was disappointing for the former silver medal winner in the World Masters Games in 2005. He expected gold or silver with teammate Tom Wong, while representing Team B.C. in his Canada 55+ Games debut.

“It was fun. It’s always good to get out there and you are meeting new people. You are challenging yourself with their style, their technique,” said Hong. “The competition was good all around. The top three teams were fairly even.”

Playing in an arena, rather than a gym, Hong noticed a difference in the way the bird flew. Using a feather shuttle instead of plastic, the bird absorbed moisture from the humidity causing it to be heavier and travel further.

What Hong enjoyed of the experience was meeting people.

“You do meet some fascinating people,” he said. “The difference in the people you play, actually helps improve your game. It’s something that I would do again.”

His only complaint about competing in Brampton was that the venue was not set up properly for badminton. The playing surface was rolled onto the concrete, providing no give. That resulted in several athletes sustaining injuries and having to file reports.

Hong was injured and is recovering from a bruised hip socket, which he hopes heals in time for him to compete in the B.C. 55+ Games in Coquitlam, Sept. 20-24.