Wednesday October 17, 2012
Christensen chooses the ‘write’ city to launch his autobiography
ODENSE: The venue for the Denmark Open – Odense – is the birth place of the country’s famous children’s book writer Hans Kristian Andersen.
And it did not come as a surprise when Denmark’s top and longest serving singles shuttler Peter-Gade Christensen chose the same historical city to launch his autobiography – Peter Gade.
It is not a fairytale but one that bares his soul as he talks about his colourful and fascinating life on-and-off the badminton court.
The timing of the book launch was also perfect as it will be Christensen’s last Denmark Open. The former world No. 1 will be quitting the sport for good in December.
His last match will be against Lin Dan of China at the Copenhagen Masters in December. Four-time world champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist Lin Dan has accepted an invitation to play in Copenhagen as a tribute and mark of respect to the Danish player – seen by many as one of the greatest badminton ambassadors.
Christensen, a three-time Denmark Open champion in 1998, 2000 and 2008, was full of emotion as he described his excitement, anxiety and goals now that his playing days reach the final chapter.
“These are my last days as a player and I am just cherishing every moment. I won my first Denmark Open when I was just into my 20s. Right now, there is a lot of emotion and feelings going through my mind,” said the 35-year-old Christensen.
“I have written a detailed book about my life on-and-off the court. I dared to go deep and say everything. I loved every bit of my badminton career but I have also written about the consequences that I had to face.
“All my life as an elite athlete was about winning. It was not easy to deal with failures.
“As a sportman, we are not machines. It was not easy to cope but I hope that my book will give an understanding and insight of what an athlete goes through and how it shapes one’s life.”
Once he hangs up his racquet, Christensen has several options to chose from – but it would definitely revolve around badminton and without much travel involved. He may join the Denmark BA or work with Danish companies based in China.
Asked whether he will seek to win a fourth Denmark Open as a parting gift for his adoring fans, Christensen said: “I am not at my best but I do want to leave a lasting impression in my last home tournament.”
World No. 6 Christensen, who managed to stay in the top echelon of players despite battling with foot injury, faces India’s Sourabh Varma in the opening round today.
He is in the same half as several players from China – second seed and defending champion Chen Long, Wang Zhengming and Du Pengyu; Indonesia’s Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Simon Santoso and Tommy Sugiarto; and two Malaysians – Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng.