Badminton – From Backyard Pastime to Olympic Event

A former senior vice president of equity derivatives at Paine Webber in New York City, Roxanna Anspach Devlin now works as a successful realtor in Nashville, Tennessee. In her free time, Roxanna Devlin enjoys a number of activities, including cycling, rowing, swimming, and playing badminton.

A racket sport with ancient origins, badminton is based on battledore and shuttlecock, two games that were played in Europe and Asia approximately 2,000 years ago. During the 1800s, a more modern version of the sport called “poon” was popular throughout India. Soon, British officers serving in the country became fond of the sport, and they eventually introduced it to royalty in England, where it was renamed “badminton” after the Gloucester estate owned by the Duke of Beaufort.

Over the years, badminton’s popularity grow in England and other countries, including Denmark, Canada, and the United States, which were all participating in badminton tournaments by the mid-20th century. Badminton was introduced as an Olympic sport in 1992 and will be featured in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.


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