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(Photo: Badminton Photo)
Jan O Jorgensen says a tearful goodbye
Date: 10/16/2020 10:47 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Jan O Jorgensen ends his badminton career in emotional scenes at the Denmark Open with the Odense Sports Park sending him off with a standing ovation.

Jan O Jorgensen has experienced what it is like to be at the top of world badminton. The charismatic former world number two has certainly been an influence on many and has left his mark on the sport. Playing his compatriot Anders Antonsen in the quarterfinal, the new Danish generation, it was a fitting way to end his career. 

His journey ended in Odense, the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, the famous fairy tale writer. Asked if Andersen would have written such an ending for him, Jorgensen smiles and responds.

-I think we need to go back 100 years, but yeah for sure that could have been a story. I have a lot of good memories, but I do not know if it is suited for a fairy tale though.  

The Danish retirement chain
With Antonsen sending Jorgensen into retirement, it continues an interesting chain of Danes retiring each other. Starting with Kenneth Jonassen being retired by Peter Gade, then Gade being retired by Jorgensen, and now Antonsen holds has the honour. Commenting on this curious trend, Jorgensen reminisces about his match with Gade. 

-It was special for me to play against Peter in Paris where he played his final international tournament. He had some games after that, I plan to do that as well. But this is for the biggest stage, so I was honoured to play against Peter in the last one. I was also happy to win, and Anders showed me a lot of respect today and I am really thankful for that. It’s been amazing. 

There were emotional scenes throughout the match, ending with a tearful standing ovation from everyone in the arena at match point. Jorgensen, after a flat exchange, pushed the shuttle out the back and immediately threw his racket to the floor. As the two stars embraced at the net and exchanged shirts, Jorgensen could not hold back the tears. Speaking about how special it was to have this moment in front of this crowd, he stated. 

-When you look around the arena today, I see all kinds of people throughout my career, when I was young, in the beginning, and in the middle, new faces, old faces, people I have had conflicts with and new friends, so it was nice to look at them all and smile, and take it all in. I am really thankful for everybody who has been involved in my career, from sponsors to coaches, to everyone. 

-My only goal has been towards winning and fulfilling my potential and I think I have done quite good in that sense. 

I have some interesting stories
Jan O Jorgensen has won a lot in the game, from this tournament ten years ago, to the French, Indonesia and China Open, to multiple European medals including the gold in 2014 and the World bronze in 2015. Asked if he can begin to put all of these incredible memories into a book, he answers. 

-I have been asked a few times, but you have to be over before you write that book because what if more needs to be added to it. Of course, I have some interesting stories, so we will see. 

Wine, golf and something new
Jan O Jorgensen after securing his spot in the quarterfinal had a beer to celebrate. Discussing his immediate plans now and long-term ones for the future, he says. 

-Short-term plans are to have a really good dinner tomorrow night with some friends, with some really good bottles of wine that I have saved for this occasion. So, I am going to spoil my friends. Then next week I am going to play a lot of golf, then I really do not know what is going to happen. 

Jorgensen goes on to explain how he wants to temporarily get away from the sport that has been such a big part of his life. 

-I have decided to give myself some space to take it all in and see what I am going to do. I am not afraid of studying or starting something new, but I want to have a break with badminton. I feel obligated to have something to do with it in the future, but for now, I would like a little break to not stay in the same environment I have been in literally my whole adult life. 

Thanks for everything Jan! 

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