One man who has contributed to Indonesia’s dominance is Hendrawan — both as a player and as the current national singles coach. Born in a small town in East Java into a badminton-loving family, he started playing at the age of seven with his father as his first coach. He remembers watching the first Olympic badminton competition on TV and being inspired.
1992 was the first Olympic Games to include badminton; I was 20. I was so excited to see Alan Busi Kusuma and Susi Susanti win the gold medals. My dream was to win an Olympic medal myself.
When I won the silver medal in Sydney, that was seen as a failure. Winning was all that mattered. I too felt disappointed as my target had been gold. Because the Olympics is only once in 4 years, you do not get another chance for four years.
My Olympic ‘failure’ spurred me on to go one better in the world championship the next year. If I had been successful in the Olympics, perhaps I would not have won the world championship.
I believe that career and fame will end sometime. Just like a river that dries up. Jesus taught that there is more than this life — an eternal life. That is what I’m looking for — not fame as a player or being recognized by people. Because I know Jesus Christ, I am certain that I have eternal life. In Jesus Christ there is the answer to everything and that answer is Jesus Christ. When faced with problems — losing, sadness or disappointment — there is only one who can comfort me and that is Jesus Christ. He is my Savior and my guide.”
Dying will be the greatest moment for me; I want to be in Heaven. That will be the fulfilment of my life on earth. I already feel that I have accomplished all my targets and challenges but I want to be in Heaven and meet Jesus Christ.
— Hendrawan, Indonesian badminton player