Eva Lee, Olympian and current coach, is one of the badminton players who has won the most medals in the Pan Am Games history and with several years of experience in our sport she has a lot to share with the following generations.

In the framework of International Women’s Day, Badminton Pan Am highlights various women from our region throughout the month of March, sharing their experiences for the inspiration of the entire Pan American family.

Eva Lee Waller, played 2 Olympic Games (Beijing 2008 and Rio 2016) and is currently coach and co-funder of HelloBirdie Badminton where she share her passion for badminton with the next generation of players.

At first Eva was not very interested in badminton, even though her parents played it, however she decided to participate in a tournament where everything changed and her great story with badminton began.

“My parents played, but I was never really interested in the sport. I was actually a swimmer. The kids of my parents’ badminton friends joined a tournament and for some inexplicable reason, I decided it was a good idea to join too. Needless to say, I lost. After that unfortunate event, I switched to badminton.”

badminton gives me the opportunity to share my passion with the next generation eva lee

A history full of efforts and work that gave her important results such as very good placements in the world ranking and representing her country in the greatest sporting events.

“Qualifying for the Olympics twice… or making #17 in the world for WD… are my best results because they are an accumulation of the work, effort, and results that has been put in.”

As a player and, now, as a coach, Eva has been able to enjoy different benefits that sport gives her, she has been able to perceive different lessons and has been able to live different experiences.

badminton gives me the opportunity to share my passion with the next generation eva lee 1

“As a player, it (Badminton) taught me to persevere and push through difficult circumstances. Now, as a coach, it gives me the opportunity to share my passion with the next generation. The kids I coach are a handful and everyday is an adventure with them.”

With the experiences she has had and how much she has to share, Eva dreams of having badminton as one of the main sports in her country, and thus being able to encourage the next generations to practice badminton and know its benefits. .

“I think a lot of my hopes for badminton are centered in the US. I hope that badminton will become more of a mainstream sport in the US. Getting badminton a NCAA status would be a big step towards that. It would help if players could get scholarships and recognition like basketball and football players in the US do. I hope that kids in the US hold on to their dreams of becoming World Champions and we will be able to find a way to support that dream.”

In her sports career, Eva has not been immune to different problems that affected her sports career, generating situations of stress or worry.

“Funding was a big issue. US badminton athletes don’t receive any funding from USOC, so we have to find our own sponsors. That, in itself, was stressful. Coaching was another problem. While I had many individuals who gave me some of their time, I did not have a coach or a team to support me after the first Olympics. Additionally, the previous staff at USA Badminton would regularly forget to enter my partner and I for tournaments. It was very mentally tough for us.”

But despite the difficulties experienced, she was able to achieve her goals and manage to reach privileged places in world sport. Therefore she is an authorized voice to share the following message:

“Approach every situation like a challenge to overcome. Things may get difficult, but it only becomes impossible when you stop working towards it.”

badminton gives me the opportunity to share my passion with the next generation eva lee 2
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