Three-time Olympian Scott Evans announces retirement
Evans became the first Irishman to win a badminton match at the Olympics in 2016
Scott Evans celebrates defeating Ygor Coelho De Oliveir at the 2016 Olympics. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Irish Olympian Scott Evans will retire from international badminton after next week’s European Team Championships in Russia (February 13-18th).
Ten years ago in Beijing, Evans was the first Irish male badminton player to qualify for an Olympics Games, going on to become a three-time Olympian (London 2012 and Rio 2016). However the highlight of his career came in 2016 when he finished in a historic ninth place overall at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.
At the age of 16 Evans left family, friends and school for the European hub of badminton in Copenhagen, Denmark to pursue his sporting ambitions.
In 2012 he won the Irish Open, after competing in the London Olympics earlier that year. In 2016 he competed in his third Olympic Games in Rio and made history again when he became the first Irishman to win a badminton match at the Olympics, beating the highly regarded German Marc Zwiebler in the last set. The win guaranteed him a spot in the last 16, making him the first ever Irish badminton player to advance to the business end of the tournament.
Speaking of his retirement Evans said: “The time is the right to retire after 14 years of full-time training and full-time participation on the world tour. I know what it takes to be a professional athlete every single day and what I need to do to be at my best and I don’t have the same desire as before. This hasn’t been an easy decision, but I feel it is the right one. Having the opportunity to finish my career while representing my country will be the best way to end this chapter.”
He added: “I am very grateful to Badminton Ireland, Sport Ireland, The Olympic Council of Ireland and Hegarty Financial Management for giving me the opportunities to live my dream. Without their support my journey wouldn’t have been possible.
“I would like to sincerely thank my parents and brother who have been through the highest highs and when I have hit rock bottom. I would also like to thank Jim Laugesen who took me on at 17 years of age and still helps me to this day and to Camille, for all her support.”
The 30-year old is now looking to the future: “I am really passionate about the sport of badminton and I have started to work on an exciting new collaborative project, the details of which will announced in coming months.”