Badminton (Rio Day 8)

Our final Olympic event was badminton and we couldn’t have been more excited to end with a fun event. We don’t watch a lot of badminton at home, maybe occasionally watching a match during previous Olympics but that was about the extent. I’ve played a backyard game of badminton only a handful of times. But it was a lot of fun to watch live badminton.

Badminton has been an event in the Summer Olympics since 1992, though it did appear in the 1972 Munich Olympics as a demonstration sport. Asian nations typically dominate the sport with China leading the way with a total of 41 total medals, followed by Indonesia and South Korea with 19 medals total each. In the Singles competition 29 competitors (both men and women) are selected to compete, while 19 pairs are selected for the doubles competition. A badminton match in the Olympics is a best of three games played to 21 points using rally scoring. The winner must either win by two points or be the first player to reach 30 points.


The fun thing with a badminton event is you get a variety of different matches, we saw both mens and women’s doubles and singles matches. There are three matches going on at one time so it can be a bit difficult to pay attention to all matches at one time, so we all just rotated around which one we watched at a given time. We were seated on the left side of the middle court, so we had a fairly good view of all courts. Unfortunately the doubles matches were all played at the farthest court from our vantage point, but it was still fairly easy to watch.

I’m not sure if it’s always set up this way or if it just happened by chance the time slot we were in, but the better and more competitive matches happened in the first set of matches. Our favorite match was getting to watch Iris Wong from the USA win her match against a Portuguese competitor. It was fun getting to cheer on a fellow American in a sport that the US doesn’t dominate. While Iris wouldn’t go onto the medal round, it was still fun getting to watch at least a win while we were in person.

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We watched a variety of other matches and we ended up leaving during the last match as it was a slower moving game and it was easy to tell who the final victor would be. All in all it was a great way to spend the last few hours of our Olympic trip watching a sport we didn’t know much about, but that didn’t require a lot of knowledge.

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Travel Tip:  Badminton was a fun, relaxing event to watch. It somewhat reminded us of visiting a baseball game where you don’t have to pay 100% attention to the action. All of us really enjoyed the event and all agreed we’d want to attend another badminton event if we return to the Olympics. It was a perfect end to our times at the Olympics! It was also one of the cheaper events we attended and that was with the highest ticket category. At least at the Rio Olympics it was general seating within your price category, so if you have a similar option arrive early and walk fast to your section. We were able to score front row seats in our section by being in line a bit before they opened the doors! 

Money spent approx:
Badminton (Category A) = $35.74 USD each (pre-purchased) 



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