Badminton Is Not for Sissies 

And with the opening of nine badminton-only gyms in the Bay Area since 2005, the sport's passionate fans dream of respect and Olympic medals.

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But Bach, America's greatest hope for a badminton medal, remains optimistic: "I think we need someone to continuously win to keep badminton on the map." Or as Yang put it, "We need someone like Beckham — good-looking and good at PR."

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