The bad boy of badminton — yes, there’s such a thing — Lin Dan utterly dominates in this racket sport of lightning geometry. A four-time world champion, the 28-year-old Chinese struck gold at the Beijing Olympics and is considered a heavy favorite in London. Unlike the prototypical meek Chinese athlete, Lin indulges in temper tantrums, and even punched his coach in one infamous incident. Super Dan, as he’s known in China, has also broken convention in another way: his wife was once China’s top female shuttler. Mixing business and pleasure may not be Chinese sports tradition, but how can stern-faced Chinese bureaucrats complain when Lin’s so super?
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