Lin Dan, regarded as badminton’s all-time great, shared a tale in a recent video which surfaced of him attending the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards (LWSA) years ago and realizing no one recognized him or knew the sport.

The Chinese superstar attended the annual awards ceremony which honours individuals and teams for their sporting achievement back in 2013 as an ambassador in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Even back then, Lin had already completed badminton’s ‘Super Grand Slam’ by stamping his name on all major titles including the Olympics, World Championships, World Cup, Thomas Cup, Sudirman Cup, Super Series, All-England, Asian Games and Asian Championships.

Arriving at the ceremony looking dapper in a black suit, the now 40-year-old was surprised to find out he was unknown amongst the rest.

“It was my first time attending the LWSA not representing myself, but badminton. The attendees were all top athletes from around the world.

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“When I was there, the first thing I felt was that I was great in my own profession, but I felt tiny in front of other professions. Not because of the lack of confidence, but because not many people knew about badminton.

“Honestly badminton is now in an embarrassing position. It’s well known in Asian countries and a small part in some European countries. When I was there representing badminton, the media didn’t know who I was, or even about the sport.

“I will continue to do my best to promote badminton. I also hope the world body can do better. This is not to blame anyone or point fingers. I just hope the sport can make a breakthrough. I hope someday there will be a LWSA nominee in badminton or table tennis.

“It doesn’t matter if it is a male or female. This is when badminton can contend with other sports,” he said.

Badminton has never won an award at the LWSA which has been dominated by global superstars in more popular sports such as Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Usain Bolt and Lionel Messi.

Japanese shuttler Kento Momota was, however, a nominee at the 2021 edition under the World Comeback Of The Year category after making a return following a serious car crash in Kuala Lumpur a year earlier.