Olympic has been around for many hundred years since the first Olympic was recorded in 776 BC in Olympia, Greece. The International Olympic Committee was first found in 1894 by a French nobleman, Pierre Fredy, but not until 1896 then the first International Olympic summer game was launched. The competition divided in two seasons: Summer and Winter games. This year Summer Olympic games will take place in Aug 8, 2008 in Beijing, China and the Winter Olympic Game will be held in Canada.
Khankham Malaythong is the first Laotian American to compete in Olympic 2008 in Beijing China. Khankham
is number one in men double in Badminton and in 20th place in the world.
Khankham came to United States from Laos at age eight with family in Maryland. Khankham told VOA that he loved to play badminton even when he was in Laos, he played in the backyard or around the neighborhood. “When I first came here to the States, my brother-in-law, Mr. Seo Phengphachanh was very serious about having me to participate in some type of activities and badminton was one of them.” Khankham said.
Khankham told us that he owes a lot to his brother-in-law, Mr. Seo who sees thing in him and want him to be badminton player in the United States and the world, and Khankham stared to get serious and practice ever since.
Once Khankham became a champ for the National Junior in 1991, he was then selected to train in National Olympic Training Center in
Colorado Spring, for the next four years, where he also was attending high school and training for Olympic at the same time.
“It was a tough choice, but I am glad I did it, once I look back…it does help a lot in my whole badminton career” he adds.
After the Olympic Training Center, Khankham moved to California where he found a sponsor who gave him more chance to practice and compete in badminton. He has been competing for several years to better himself and moving up in the rank where he can compete in the Olympic. Khankham told VOA that to go in the Olympic is a dream come true, but to win a medal is
my ultimate goal, any type of medal would do it. The medal will help to secure my long dream of becoming a badminton coach.
Khankham concluded by saying… “I can not do this alone, I would like to thank all my family and friends, club members and every one who gives me the opportunities and believes in me, especially my parents and Mr. Seo. My parents wanted me be to do well in school, to be a doctor or lawyer; but I chose badminton, in stead of…but they are very supportive.”
Listen to audio files for more details.