Chong WEI not going to Tokyo

Chong Wei skips Tokyo Olympics as chef de mission over health reasons

Badminton great will remain as CDM and communicate online with athletes.

Malaysia’s chef de mission (CDM) to the Tokyo Olympics, Lee Chong Wei, has made the painful decision to skip the Games next month due to health reasons.

“ I have decided not to travel to Tokyo as my health and well- being is priority,” confirmed Chong Wei, who was appointed CDM in July 2019.

The badminton hero, who is recovering from nasal cancer, said he informed the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) of his decision following advice from medical experts, family and friends.

A sad Chong Wei said: “With many Covid-19 mutations being reported, there is a clear risk to my health.
“My apologies to the athletes and the authorities but these are unprecedented times and I waited for things to improve before making this decision.”

OCM President Norza Zakaria said Chong Wei will remain as CDM, albeit a non-travelling one.

A senior officer from OCM or the National Sports Council will be appointed after consultation with the sports minister to carry out the duties of the CDM, he added.

Norza said: “This is unfortunate but the OCM respects the decision of Chong Wei.”
Chef de missions at Tokyo will be restricted in their movements, have limited physical contact with athletes and officials and are not allowed at certain locations.

They would have to rely on online conversations to encourage, motivate and even console athletes.
Chong Wei said despite being in Kuala Lumpur, he will be available for the athletes.

He urged athletes to focus on the task ahead and produce their best at an unusual Olympics beset by Covid-19.

“We have athletes who can deliver our first gold medal and although many see it as a tough task, I believe we can end our gold drought.

“ It is during times like this that the unexpected happens and trust me, we are looking at a positive result,” said the three-time Olympic men’s singles silver medallist.

The initial party of Malaysia’s contingent of 26 athletes departs on July 10, followed by the rest eight days later.