Phillip Chew: Pro Badminton Highlight

Who is Phillip Chew?

Name: Phillip Chew
Age: 26
Representing: United States of America
BWF Ranking: 37 Men’s Doubles
Lefty/Righty: Right-handed

Early Life

Born in Anaheim, California, Phillip Chew started playing badminton soon after he started walking.  Phillip’s grandfather, Don Chew, was the founder of the Orange County Badminton Club.  A badminton patron, Don started hitting shuttlecocks to Phillip when he was just 1 ½  years old. Chew surely doesn’t remember a time when badminton was not a central part of his life.  Starting early and learning from a master was a deadly combination to Phillip Chew’s competitors.  Chew participated in his first junior nationals event at just 5 years old in 1999 and won the singles and doubles titles.  He was a prodigy.  It was at this time that he even landed on the cover of World Badminton magazine, who titled him, “Badminton’s Future”.  A story by sports writer Jeff Miller in the OC Register dubbed Phillip Chew the “Tiger Woods” of badminton.

Phillip Chew attended private school at the Fairmont Anaheim Hills school district from Preschool to 6th grade while racking up dozens of junior titles. The difficult curriculum at this private school required a time commitment for evening homework that conflicted with Chew’s increasingly rigorous badminton training, and so he left Fairmont for public school.  The homework load lightened and that time was replaced with time spent training.  He attended Villa Park High School. In later years, he spent time at the University of California, Irvine studying business economics.  He credited Fairmont’s difficult curriculum in preparing him for high school and college courses.

Phillip Chew made his Olympic debut at the Rio games in 2016.  The University of California, Irvine published an article on Chew before his performance in the Rio Olympic Games.  He was quoted as saying he hopes the exposure of the Olympic platform will “help people see badminton for what it really is”, and that “Olympic medals will help it get an even bigger audience”. 

Even back in 2016, Chew admitted that he already had his eye on the 2020 (now 2021) Olympics in Tokyo.

Current Status

Chew is living in Orange, California, and training with his brother, Ryan Chew at his grandfather’s facility:  Orange County Badminton Club.  Phillip Chew is preparing to represent the United States in the men’s doubles category alongside his younger brother.  The pair clinched their first adult National Championship in men’s doubles in 2019.  Phillip has often, and is still, an advocate for the advancement of the sport of badminton in America.  He appreciates his unique position to travel to competitions with sponsorship from his grandfather but acknowledges that not all badminton athletes have this luxury. He is hopeful that putting an American on the podium could bring awareness, and more importantly financial backing to the sport, as the Olympic organization has little to spare for badminton.

Bragging Rights

Currently ranked 37 in the world in the men’s doubles category

Won American Junior Nationals event at 5 years old (in a U8 Category)
Over 30 Gold medals in multiple categories in juniors

Mixed Doubles Gold Medal at the Pan American Games in Toronto in 2015

Men’s Doubles Gold Medal at the Pan American Games in Toronto in 2015

Men’s Doubles Silver Medal at the Pan Am Game in Lima 2019

267 Career wins to date

Giving Back with Badminton

Check out Phillip Chew giving back to the private school where he attended as a young boy.  He made a visit to speak with students about his road to the Rio Olympics and led them in their flag salute.

Sources:
https://www.teamusa.org/usa-badminton/athletes/Phillip-Chewhttp://archivepyc.nbcolympics.com/news/qa-phillip-chew
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/12/sports/olympics/badminton-rio-games-phillip-chew.html
https://www.latimes.com/sports/olympics/la-sp-oly-badminton-20160726-snap-story.html
https://www.fairmontschools.com/2016/09/rio-olympics-2016-badminton-player-phillip-chew-fairmont-alum-visits-anaheim-hills-campus/

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