Pictured: John Moody, New Zealand. Photo Credit: Badminton Photo
New Zealand’s John Moody burst onto Oceania’s men’s singles scene in 2002 when he won the Fiji International. In the following years, Moody bettered his own achievements with each coming Continental Championships, starting with a bronze medal in 2004 when the event took place in Waitakere.
Two years later, Moody missed out on the gold medal but redeemed himself in the 2008 Continental Championships when he won Gold after defeating Australia’s Stuart Gomez.
Nonetheless, both players went on to represent their respective countries later that year in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Gomez was defeated in three close games in the first round while Moody was drawn up against the fourth seed and eventual bronze medalist from China, Chen Jin. Despite going down in two games, playing against a home Olympian in such an electric atmosphere was among his favourite memory of the Games:
“Being at and part of the Olympics left me with many lasting memories. The memory I take away was really the opportunity to be part of the whole Olympics atmosphere for two weeks of my life. Whether it was walking out at the Opening Ceremony, being around so many inspiring Kiwi athletes, watching and celebrating Kiwis win medals as part of one big team, or the supportive feedback from home, it’s something I feel grateful to have experienced as a Kiwi badminton player“
“It also was very special to have been there participating in badminton as one of the largest sports in China – the atmosphere in the stadium was simply amazing, and while I would have liked to have played a few days longer than I did, I look back on the experience as an amazing way to finish a badminton career for me“
Today (3 August 2020) would have originally been the day of the Finals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – had it not been postponed.
Instead, the International Olympic Committee, athletes and sports are joining the #StrongerTogether movement and use this milestone to celebrate solidarity and unity in diversity across the Olympic movement.
“It was very special to be part of the NZ Olympic campaign. Everyone involved put in a special effort to not only embrace a high performing team culture, but also instil in the team elements of NZ’s diverse culture that could help to bring everyone together as one team, and many of the learnings from those 2 weeks remain today”
“I feel badminton as a truly global sport is well placed to assist with these campaigns, and really pleasing to see some of the recent BWF initiatives”
Join the celebrations by telling us about your favourite Olympic memories which champion solidarity and unity in diversity using the hashtag #StrongerTogether