Greysia Polii: Twice Wanted to Retire, Now Wins Olympic Gold Medal

The Indonesian women’s double badminton player, Greysia Polii, has finally been able to realize her dream of winning a gold medal at the Olympics. Greysia Polii who appeared with Apriyani Rahayu won a gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. They won two straight games with a score of 21-19 and 21-15 in 57 minutes.

For Greysia Polii, this success also ends the long wait to be able to excel at the Olympics. Previously, the 33-year-old badminton player had not succeeded when fighting in London 2012 and Rio 2016.

The 2012 London Olympics are the most bitter memories for Greysia Polii. Polii paired with Meliana Jauhari were disqualified. Greysia Polii/Meiliana Jauhari are considered to have deliberately given up when facing Ha Jung-eun/Kim Min-jung (South Korea) in the group phase. Being eliminated in such a dishonorable manner made Greysia feel so down that she even thought about retiring.

However, the Jakarta-born athlete in the end decided not to give up, and fought with Nitya Krishinda Maheswari at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Although she had not yet succeeded in Rio 2016 because she was stopped in the quarter-finals, Greysia was grateful that she did not hang up her racket and could continue her career.

“The London 2012 Olympics were the lowest point in my life, the worst thing I’ve ever experienced. Disqualification from the world’s biggest event (Olympics) made me want to give up, feel useless and don’t know what to do with my life. Quitting badminton was my only option at that time, but it never happened. I decided to try again and hope to continue until the 2016 Rio Olympics.” Greysia wrote in her 2016 Instagram post.

“Defeated in the quarterfinals made me realize that at this Olympics I LOSE with honor and I accept that defeat gracefully. I am very grateful that 4 years ago I did not decide to stop playing and did not give up every day to go through all the processes.”

In 2017 after the 2016 Rio Olympics ended, Greysia Polii again intended to hang up her racket. Greysia’s decision was also inseparable from the condition of her partner at the time, Nitya Krishinda Maheswari, who was injured. However, Greysia finally did not hang up the racket after the coach asked her to be Apriyani Rahayu’s duet. She is asked to help to develop the younger player, ie Apriyani.

In the end, Greysia continued her career to reap various achievements with Apriyani. “It’s been a long journey for me. It’s about how you want to survive and survive,” said Greysia after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics semifinals were reported by the BWF website on July 31.

“She (Apriyani) appeared suddenly in 2017 when I was about to retire after Rio 2016. Then, we won the Korea Open and the Thailand Open and that’s how quickly we came. I was like, oh my God, I have to run for four more years! ” she said.

In the end, Greysia Polii and Apriyani successfully won gold medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This made the two pairs become the first Indonesian women’s doubles to win gold medals at the most prestigious multi-sport event.

According to Greysia, this achievement was a dream come true for her. “20 years ago when I was 13 years old, I knew Indonesia had not made history in the women’s doubles and I was patient,” said Greysia after today’s final match. “I know I was born to be a badminton player and I have the belief that I want to make history in this field. God has given me a dream and a belief in my heart that I chose this. People say: ‘You’re not going to make it, Indonesia has no history in women’s doubles.’ Then we all know what happened in London 2012, I bounced back in Rio 2016, but haven’t got a medal yet. I remain patient and committed. It takes commitment to achieve dreams and gold. This is where we are now. My family also doesn’t give up, don’t stop,” said Greysia Polii.

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