What is the history of badminton?
Some claim that badminton originated in Mexico: the Aztecs played a game with a shuttlecock, and Spanish conquerors brought the game to Europe in the 1500s. Others say that badminton has its roots in India, where a game called poona (probably named for the city of Poona, near Mumbai) was played. British soldiers brought that shuttlecock game back to Great Britain and it gained popularity around Europe during the Baroque era. The game was enjoyed by many members of the European nobility until the end of the 1700s.
Badminton was first played in 1873 in the home of the Duke of Beaufort in Gloucestershire. The Duke’s home was referred to as the Badminton house, which is how the sport got its name. However, the roots of badminton can be traced back to ancient Greece and China, where children played a similar recreational game outdoors in the grass.
In 1877, the badminton rules were officially written and shared across England, encouraging the founding of the Badminton Federation in 1893. After badminton was officially recognized as a sport, it gained popularity across the United Kingdom and spread into homes around the world. Now, badminton is enjoyed at family gatherings, graduation parties, and even weddings.
Badminton at the Olympic Games
Badminton was first featured in the Olympics in 1972 as a demonstration sport. In 1988, it was included as an exhibition sport and in 1992, it was added as a full-medal sport in the Olympic Games for both men and women. At this time, singles competitions were the only event. Shortly after, mixed doubles were recognized and added to the Olympics in 1996.
While badminton remains the most popular in England, Asia now dominates the sport in the Olympic competitions. From 1992 to 2008, 69/76 medals for badminton were won by Asian countries.
What are the current Olympic badminton events?
The current Olympic badminton events include singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.