Olympian and Pan Am Champion in Doubles and Mixed Doubles, Josephine Wu have learned a lot of life lessons during her sport career and dreams of promoting badminton in her region and making competitive badminton more accessible to athletes interested in competing.

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.

As Pan Am Games champion and with a lot of competiton around the world at the BWF World Circuit, Josephine Yuenling Wu have experience different situations and enjoyed some opportunities to meet a lot of people that now are more than a competitors.

“I think sport has taught me a lot of life lessons: I’ve learned how to lose and how to pick myself up from disappointment. Sport has also given me so many opportunities to see the world and meet a lot of people that I can now call my friends. I am so grateful for this journey that I chose even if it was a tough one.”

it takes courage to be a badminton athlete josephine wu

Josephine met badminton several years ago but it was many years later that she began a professional sports career with badminton. She considers that she is near the end of her career as an athlete but has a lot to share with the next generations.

“I started playing at the age of 7 because my parents loved to play for fun and I have been inseparable with my racquet ever since. As I am nearing the end of my career, I have regrets that I didn’t pursue a professional athletic career earlier. I started on the international circuit later when I was out of juniors and I feel like I am still in the process of learning even though my body is starting to give out. I hope that the new generation of players won’t experience the same regrets as me and be brave to challenge themselves on the international circuit earlier on.”

This year, Josephine aims to compete in a new edition of the Olympic Games, however, she also has dreams of spreading our sport in her region and providing advice and opportunities to young people.

“My current objective is to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics in both Women’s Doubles and Mix Doubles. My dream is to further promote badminton in my region, Alberta. Specifically, I want to be able to make competitive badminton affordable to kids interested in competing, as I know from experience how expensive it is to afford training to compete with the very best.”

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And she has experienced first-hand different difficulties in her sporting career that have diminished her performance, but she will continue to persevere until she meets her goals.

“I definitely had my fair share of difficulties, this past year has been especially challenging as I didn’t have a coach to work with and now I also do not have a club to train at. Ty and I, who are the only ones from our city, are now travelling to other areas of Canada to train. It has been added stress but we are persevering till the end of the Olympic qualifications.”

It takes courage to be an athlete, because of everything you face, because of all the stress and worries that surround, from off the court, an athlete’s performance on the court. Josephine remains motivated even despite the difficult times and enjoys every day that she has the opportunity to pick up a racket and give her best.

“The journey of being an athlete is meant to be difficult because if it was easy, then anyone could do it. It takes courage to be a Badminton athlete and even though the sport causes us a lot of stress and pain, I think we are very lucky to find something we are so passionate about. Be proud of the work you’ve put in, embrace the bad just as you embrace the good parts of sport, be confident in your abilities and don’t forget to enjoy the process!”

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