by Kennevic Asuncion
Filipino fans had the opportunity to watch top-ranked international players during MVP Cups I & II and in the last Philippine Open. There was one player, however, that you failed to see live in action. I am talking about Denmark best player and one of my personal favorites, Peter Gade.
Peter Gade can not continue to evade us though. So for the maiden issue of BX Philippines Magazine, I hunted Peter for this rare interview. He even shared some private photos of his family, just for his Filipino fans.
Kennevic Asuncion: How was the Beijing Olympic experience for you?
Peter Gade: Well, the Beijing Olympics was my 3rd Olympics and for sure it was the best arranged. No doubt that the Chinese were very aware of doing a great Olympic games and they did. It was the perfect venue, training conditions were great.. I really enjoyed the Olympics, of course I would have loved to get a medal which I think I deserve, but I was up against Lin Dan in the quarterfinals and he played fantastic. For this tournament, he was the better player, although I’m still proud of my performance. Considering I had a very hard runup towards the Olympics with a lot of injuries.
KVA: Is there any consolation to losing to eventual gold medalist Lin Dan? What would you have done differently in that match?
PG: Well, as I mentioned, he’s a great player and when I’ve seen the match on video I think I played very good – he was just better.
KVA: Are you hoping to compete at the 2012 Olympics?
PG: No, at the moment I can see myself play for another 1 or 2 more years and then it’s time to stop.
KVA: What do you consider your biggest badminton achievement?
PG: Well I was number 1 on the world ranking for 3 1/2 years in a row. In 1999 I won both the All England and the Grand Prix Finales. In the same year I also won the Japan Open. So 1999 was a very special and unforgettable year for me.
KVA: What do you consider your biggest frustration in your badminton career?
PG: Well, when you’re among the best players in the world there will always be ups and downs. For me losing 15-14 in he third Fung Permadi at home in the World Championships in 1999 was pretty tough – but again also a very important learning experience.
KVA: Aside from badminton, what other sports do you play?
PG: I love both football and tennis and when I finish my career I’m gonna do these sports for fun again. While I’m still playing it’s too risky with injuries.
KVA: In Denmark and in Europe, do you see any up and coming players who can possibly be the next World or Olympic Champion?
PG: Well, maybe there’s not any obvious one to take over but both Joachim Persson and Jan Jorgensen could make great results in the future. Whether they can go to the top is too early to say.
KVA: How is married life? Any kids? Has it changed your attitude towards badminton and life in general?
PG: I just became a father for the second time, another baby girl, Alma. I really enjoyed my life and trying to take the best out of every moment. Some priorities are different but I’m still the same guy with the same interests and passion as before.
KVA: Personally and professionally, how was your 2008?
PG: My 2008 has been with a lot of problems with injuries. Especially in the first part of 2008 – so I guess it could have been better, but that’s how life is. Because then again, a lot of other things have been great.
KVA: What are your plans for 2009?
PG: I hope I can have a year without injuries and focus on bringing out 1 or 2 more big results in my badminton career.
KVA: Any message to the Filipino fans?
PG: I’ve long wanted to come to Manila but the schedule did not make it possible for the past years. But I am now in constant communication with the Asuncions for my first Manila trip. In the future it will happen – I promise.