Legendary former badminton player from China Lin Dan announced his retirement from the sport a few days ago. Tributes poured in for the career of a man regarded as the greatest shuttler ever. However, his personal life has had some very interesting twists as well.
The 5-time World Champion is married to another former badminton player Xie Xinfang. But, back in 2016, 'Super Dan' found himself in hot soup when pictures of him in an intimate moment with a Chinese model and actress Zhao Yaqi surfaced on the internet. This caused a sensation on social media and the badminton star was viciously targeted for this.
But now, after his retirement, the affair, for some reason, became a trending topic again. Apparently, after looking back at his on-court achievements, many also recounted or discovered his extra-marital affair.
Zhao Yaqi was bombarded with negative comments after this blast from the past. Exasperated by them, she vented herself on Weibo, a Chinese micro-blogging site. According to stories in the Chinese media, she put out a statement there.
"Please control yourself. Please have a sense of responsibility and do not get single women into trouble! I know the world outside is exciting but if you're married, please stop right there," the model wrote.
Going further, she also described how she has moved beyond the affair with Lin Dan. "I'm no longer inside (showbiz). In the past few years, I've worked hard on my career which I love, have a stable relationship and I'm currently enjoying my life."
Both Lin Dan and Zhao Yaqi had publicly apologized for their extra-marital affair, which, apparently, was going on when the former's wife Xie was pregnant with their first child. She revealed that she has forgiven her husband for his infidelity.
This unsavoury episode from Lin Dan's past first surfaced in November 2016. A celebrity gossip writer by the name 'Detective Zhao' posted pictures of Lin and Yaqi along with a small gif video of them, in an intimate situation on Weibo. This led to a furore and the 2-time Olympic Champion had to issue a statement.
It was earlier that month that his and Xie's first child was born. The legendary shuttler said in the statement released in wake of that controversy: "As a man, I won't make any excuses for myself, but my actions have hurt my family and I would like to apologize to them here. Sorry." The matter died away only to resurface on Monday after his retirement.