Former world No. 1 badminton player Datuk Lee Chong Wei has planned a quiet, yet meaningful, Chinese New Year.
Lee, who became a dad for the third time less than two months ago, said he would celebrate the festive season at home, as his mother and brother are with him this year.
Lee’s third child, Anson, was born on Nov 28. He has two other sons – Kingston, aged nine, and Terrence seven.
“We will not be going anywhere. Just the reunion dinner with the family,” said Lee, who is married to former national No. 1 women’s shuttler, Datin Wong Mew Choo.
“My youngest son is less than two months old. I do not want to risk going anywhere as Covid-19 is still in the air.
“It is good to have quiet family time for a change.”
Lee, who recovered after being diagnosed with early-stage nose cancer in September 2018, said his New Year’s wish is for good health and for his dreams to come true.
“Health is important. I wish everyone a healthy new year. It is the same wish for my family and Malaysia,” said Lee, who was born in Perak, but grew up in Penang.
“After more than two years of uncertainty with Covid-19, I hope the economy gets better for everyone.
“I know the whole world suffered because of Covid-19. Here’s to ‘hopping’ the year of the Water Rabbit brings everyone good luck.
“It will not be easy, but I wish Covid-19 will be a thing of the past soon.”
Separately, Lee said he had a good laugh when current world No. 1 shuttler Viktor Axelsen joked he was happy that the Malaysian was no longer playing.
Last Sunday, the Dane became the first European to retain the Malaysia Open crown. He said Lee was an idol and hoped to match his World Tour and Super Series record.
Lee won 46 Super Series titles and one World Tour crown. Axelsen, 29, has 18 World Tour, and four Super Series wins.
In 14 meetings between them, Lee emerged victorious 11 times, including in three Malaysia Open tournaments – 2013, 2016, and 2018.
“Viktor is a funny guy. I guess he said that because he never beat me in Malaysia,” said Lee.
“Although at times I found it hard to play in Malaysia – the pressure is enormous – I found a way to turn it into motivation.
“I had to give my all as family, friends, and fellow Malaysians wanted a local to win.
“I am glad I managed to win it 12 times,” Lee added.