LI Michelle < Back  
Sport Badminton
CGA Canada   
Gender Women
Born 03 Nov 1991
Height1.73 m
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Residence Toronto, ON, CAN
Occupation Athlete
Languages Cantonese, English, Mandarin
Higher education Physiology - University of Toronto: Canada
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? She began playing badminton recreationally at age 11 at a local community centre.
Why this sport? She went to her first lessons with her mother before a friend introduced her to Lee's Badminton Training Centre in Markham, ON, Canada, where she began training and competing.
Club / Team Lee's Badminton Training Centre: Markham, ON, CAN
Name of coach Jennifer Lee [club], HKG; Mike Butler [national], CAN; Kan Chao Yu [personal], TPE
Handedness Right
General Interest
Hero / Idol Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. (, 01 Aug 2012;, 09 May 2012)
Injuries Her training was disrupted by Achilles tendon, ankle and shoulder injuries in early 2019. The tear in her right Achilles tendon continued to trouble her throughout 2019. (, 19 Jan 2019;, 11 Jun 2019)

Her preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro was disrupted by two labral tears in her hip, a tear in the patella tendon of her knee and a stress fracture in her foot. She went on to compete at the Games and place 14th in the singles competition. In October 2016 she underwent surgery to repair the tears in her hip and knee. (, 01 Mar 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto "It doesn't matter who you were yesterday, it's who you choose to be today." (, 26 Jul 2015)
Awards and honours She was named 2011 Badminton Canada Female Athlete Of The Year. (, 09 May 2012)
Milestones She became the first female Canadian badminton player to win a singles title at the Commonwealth Games, following her gold medal at the 2014 edition in Glasgow, Scotland. (, 26 Jul 2015; SportsDeskOnline, 23 Dec 2019)
Ambitions To win a medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (, 13 Aug 2019;, 11 Jun 2019)
Other information NOT IN IT FOR THE MONEY
She says her motivation for badminton is not financial and comes only from her enjoyment of the sport. She says much of her earnings is spent on expenses when competing. "No way that I will ever make as much money as someone like PV Sindhu or someone from Asia. We can have the same results but that's it. It's because of my passion that I keep going and somehow I make it work. It's for this reason that Canadians are discouraged to take up professional badminton because they don't make money. I have to manage everything on my own, flight tickets, hotels, salaries of my coach and physio and their travel. I guess it's like tennis players. It's just that they make 100 times more than what we do. For me everything is out of my pocket, prize money. There is a lot of worry and stress that comes with it." (, 10 Feb 2020)

Despite struggling with a tear to her right Achilles tendon in 2019, she continued competing in a bid to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. "I've been injured for almost a year now [June 2019], I slipped and kind of sprained my ankle a little bit. But that led to an Achilles tendon tear. I've seen doctors and specialists and they all say that if I take surgery I need to take four months off, and I don't have time to do that. They said that it's not too dangerous but the pain is going to be there. Right now it's just about learning to play with the pain. It will be hard because I have to balance training and try to not get it too swollen and inflamed. But I think it's about trying to keep the pain level down so I can still push and maintain my speed during matches." (, 11 Jun 2019)

Born in Hong Kong, China, she moved to Canada with her parents at age six. (, 18 Nov 2013)