It was a day of mixed emotions for Datin Wong Mew Choo.
On the one hand, she was getting her husband back. On the other hand, she knew how much Datuk Lee Chong Wei’s retirement from badminton meant to him and the nation.
Wong, the former national women’s No. 1 player, said even after Lee was diagnosed with nose cancer last year and having successfully undergone treatment, all he ever wanted was to continue serving the nation.
“As a former player, I know how hard it is to retire. This decision wasn’t taken lightly. His doctor said the high intensity of training made it harder for Chong Wei to fully recover,” said Wong.
“We agonised over it for so long but in the end, his health comes first.”
“We have been together since our teenage days, playing in the national team together and now we are both retired.
“It is good to have my husband back. He has been training non-stop all these years.
“On the bright side, we can now plan our long overdue honeymoon!”
The pair got married in 2012 and have two children – Kingston (aged six) and Terrance (four).
Asked where she hoped to go for her honeymoon, Wong replied with a laugh: “You better ask him that. But if given a choice, I would like to visit Los Angeles. We both played at the 2005 Anaheim World Champions and I really love the place.”
Wong also laughed off suggestions her two sons would follow in their parents’ footsteps.
“They were just playing around,” said Wong about her Instagram story which showed both boys playing badminton at home.
“We are not going to force them. It is up to them to decide what path they want to follow.
“We will assist where we can. For now, let them enjoy their childhood.”
Lee, who announced his retirement today, said he will take some time off to spend with his family before deciding on his next move.
He, however, will not be out of the sport as he was named Chef de Mission to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Lee also said he would be willing to spar with the national players after his break in a bid to help them qualify for the Olympic Games.
The Olympic qualifying period started on May 1 and ends on April 30, 2020.