Vietnam’s best badminton player Nguyen Tien Minh wed his longtime girlfriend and teammate Vu Thi Trang on Monday, six months after their journey to Rio 2016 as the country’s only representatives for the sport.
The 33-year-old veteran and his 24-year-old other half joined a warm wedding ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City, to the joy and cheers of fans, friends and family.
Minh, a three-time Olympic contestant, is a Ho Chi Minh City resident whereas his wife hails from the northern province of Bac Giang.
“Today Trang and I officially tie the knot after years of sweet memories of love and badminton,” Minh said at his wedding.
As per Vietnamese tradition, the two will hold a wedding in the bride’s hometown on January 7, 2017.
The groom, currently a player and coach with the Ho Chi Minh City badminton team, said he will continue playing after getting married, at least through 2017.
From teammates to spouses
Minh and Trang first met and quickly bonded with each other thanks to badminton.
Despite being members of different teams, the two had the chance to train and play together, as well as getting to know each other, when they were both on the national teams on overseas competition trips.
Minh, once the world’s No.5, currently ranks 41st on the Badminton World Federation tally.
Born in 1992 to a poor family, Trang emerged as a young talent when she won a bronze medal at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics at the age of 18, but later failed to thrive in her career because of different reasons.
Like many other badminton players, Trang idolized Minh and having a romantic relationship with her idol did help to ‘revitalize’ her badminton life.
Thanks to the support and encouragement from Minh, Trang gradually overcame all challenges and difficulties, now positioning herself as the country’s top female player and the world’s No.37.
In return, Trang is also a huge source of mental support for the veteran player.
At the Rio 2016, Minh and Trang were coach and caretaker to each other, as there was no official coach accompanying them to Brazil.
“It is a huge advantage for me to have her as a companion as we know each other very well, sharing everything and taking care of each other during these trips,” Minh talked of his “very special teammate” before his departure to Rio de Janeiro on May 31.
Speaking in the same interview, Trang then said she was anxious before her first-ever Olympic journey, but quickly added that “[her] happiness is to be able to accompany Minh [in Brazil].”