LIVE CHAT with Poul-Erik Hoyer – Meet a Legend

Poul Erik Hoyer is one of the most famous shuttlers of all times. Because he was the first – and only still –  European to clinch an Olympic gold medal […]

Poul Erik Hoyer is one of the most famous shuttlers of all times. Because he was the first – and only still –  European to clinch an Olympic gold medal in 1996, in Atlanta, and also, because he is one of the most influent people in the world of badminton nowadays, with a recent election as Badminton Europe’s President.

He was with Badzine for a on October 29th 2010. Here is the to read again.

Poul-Erik is now with us. We will start with the first question. We’ll try to post as many as we can. Make sure your questions are of general interest. This is informal and we hope to be able to answer lots of different questions. Poul-Erik, welcome to Badzine Live-Chat ! It’s an honour to have you with us today. and now, your turn to work.

Poul-Erik Høyer:

Hello, I’m happy to be around the live chat

I’m looking forward to the questions

1) [Question  From Michaela, Czech rep..: ]

Hi, when you won the Gold Olympic medal in Atlanta, I have heard the story that you were preparing for Olympic Games so that when the draw was made, you were studying all your potencial opponents on video. That you were studying all their strong and weak links. Is that true? If not, how were you prepering for Olympic Games ?

Poul-Erik Høyer:

We were writing down all strong and weaknesses of the opponents. I didn’t prepare by looking at any videos but I was focusing on mainly the weak areas of my oppponents. I did quite a big study on this. I think it is a very important thing to concentrate on the weaknesses.

2) [Question  From Myriam, IRELAND:]

Hi Poul-Erik. First of all congratulations for your lifetime achievement. I would like to know which “career” you enjoy the most on a daily basis : the sport one or new political one ? Thank you

Poul-Erik Høyer:

If you are in it so you focus on the current area so my focus now is on the political area but I definitely also enjoyed playing.

3) [Question  From Woon, MALAYSIA]

Good morning sir. I See that you are the only European Gold Medalist in the Olympics. And last time, Europe got no medal at all in Beijing. How do you explain that and what do you think can be done to prevent such Asian domination ?

Poul-Erik Høyer:

Asia is definitely dominating. The players from Asia are doing a good job, we all respect that but I’m happy to see that some of the young European players are now able to compete with the Asians and for sure we are coming up again in the future even if Asia is the stronger side for now.

[Question  From Marion-Netherlands]

4) What is “your dream come true” for BE

Poul-Erik Høyer:

That we will develop badminton and that badminton will be among the top sports in Europe that we will have some good international results in the future and that we can win Olympic Gold medals.

5) [Question  From DaiDai:]

I wonder if Europe Badminton Association could organize tournament similar to Thomas Cup but only limited to European countries away from those Asian powerhouses…I’m sure this will open more participation from less developed badminton nations to compete and with enough exposure maybe badminton in europe will accelerate growing in the future?

Poul-Erik Høyer:

We do have qualification for Thomas Cup in Europe where most European countries are participating and I am happy to say that we organize more then 20 international tournaments, mainly for Europeans.

6) [Question  From Matej Polacek:]

Hello. Who do you think is/was most talented player ever? It can also be double player…., Thanks for answer 🙂

Poul-Erik Høyer:

I consider, one of my favourites to be Park Joo Bong from Korea

7: [Question  From Bart (NL):]

Many followers of international badminton are discussing the opportunities (or lack thereof) for Europe to catch up with Asia again. I would argue that an even more relevant question would be “Is there any chance that the “rest of Europe” will catch up with Denmark? My impression is that the domination of Denmark is steadily increasing, while countries like England and Sweden have lost ground. Since Denmark is the only European country where badminton is a “big sport”with lots of attention from TV and sponsors, I am afraid the gap will not be narrowed but is likely to widen further. How do you feel about this?

Poul-Erik Høyer:

I acctualy think that it is really important that we cooperate with each other, sharing the knowledge, of mainly Denmark, to other European countries. RIght now I can feel a spirit from other European nations working with youth badminton so that we in the future will have more countries on a higher level. But you are right , Denmark is the European power house – right now.

8: [Question  From Ivan,Serbia:]

Hi Erik, what is yoor opinion about Hawk Eye in badminton??? Will it be a challenge in badminton also soon ?

Poul-Erik Høyer:

I think the Hawk Eye is good and we should look into the possibilities of also using it in badminton.

9: [Question  From Laurent Malaysia:]

Did you make friends with your opponents ? Who was your best friends among them ?

Poul-Erik Høyer:

Yes, I made friends, but it is difficult to say who was my best friend but I definitely had friendships with variouse people from all over the world and I am very happy to say that I still have these friendships.

10: [Question  From Goran,Serbia:]

Who do you think would be the most important in Balkan countries progress in badminton as a olympic sport? Though Schools, olympic comittee, government, badminton europe, clubs, national federations…?

Poul-Erik Høyer:

In the Balkan areas I believe, you can target different areas but I would strongly support, as first of all, badminton in schools but I also support a club structure, through the national federation.

11: [Question  From Kurt, Berlin: ]

Hello Erik, nice to see you here, What will Badminton Europe do to harmonize tournament calendars of European events and International (Super Series) events? Remember that european club finals were held while Indonesian Open was hosted in Jakarta

Poul-Erik Høyer:

It is difficult to get the dates without clashing because more and more tournaments accure. I think it will be more or less like in Tennis, that players have to organize toghether with their clubs and National Federations. It is not easy.

12: [Question  From Chetan, INDIA:]

A lot is being said on the lack of interest for some categories (women’s doubles) compared to others; Do you feel like the future of badminton lies in the separation of categories, played in different events like Tennis (one Tour for men, one tour for women ?)

Poul-Erik Høyer:

We have a discipline of Mixed doubles that we support and the Super Series gives the opportunity of playing 5 categories so we are not there yet. I still believe that we need to investigate the area of developping our tournaments. in order to conclude, if it would be benefical to divide it into mens and womens tournaments.

13: [Question  From Matej Polacek, Slovakia:]

Hello, I am Matej Polacek from SLOVAKIA. Who do you think is most talented young player nowdays ? Which boy and which girl can one day become as good as you was ?:)Thank you for answer

Poul-Erik Høyer:

Well I think, we have Viktor Axelsen from Denmark, he has shown very good results

14: [Question  From Erik, Netherlands:]

Hi Mr Hoyer. Do you feel like the Chinese Domination is harming the sport ?

Poul-Erik Høyer:

First of all I think, China is showing a really high level but of course it is a concern, that China wins most of the important medals and we have to catch up !

15: [Question  From Tom, Sweden: ]

How do you explain that Denmark remains Europe’s strongest badminton country after all these years ? What’s the secret ?

Poul-Erik Høyer:

Denmark has a good structure, with our club system and our tournament system of a young age gives the opportunity to compeat at every level and thats the ‘secret’.

16: [Question  From Laurent Malaysia: ]

Have you ever thought of serving your country as a badminton coach ?

Poul-Erik Høyer:

I was (laughing). I did coach right after I stopped my career but I decided to try something else as I could not see myself only in badminton.

17: [Question  From Andrea Germany: ]

Hi Poul Erik….. is there anythink you would chance in your life (backwards), if you were able…

Poul-Erik Høyer:

I would like to have won a gold medal at the Worlds but unfortunately – that did not happen.

18: [Question  From Irenej, Slovakia:]

Hi Poul-Erik, What were your feelings during, before and after the olympic gold medal match in 1996 ? Was you nervous? Thanks, Irenej

Poul-Erik Høyer:

No, I was excited, but I kept my concentration and focus on the next point and that was very important. I belife after, I was feeling very happy and – like all the hard work has paid off in one second. It was a great feeling.

19: [Question  From Xiaman, China:]

Hello! How come Denmark has such power in institutions? You are the badminton Europe President and Mr Lund is Chief of BWF…

Poul-Erik Høyer:

I think we have a good sense of organizing, a great knowledge of badminton, and I think, maybe, that is some of the reasons that we in Denmark also can help and contribute with people as institutions.

20: [Question  From Kurt, Berlin: ]

What can and what will be done to get the best players to the top tournaments, especially the Chinese players which skip many tournaments? What is the best way in your opinion?

Poul-Erik Høyer:

The best way in my opinion, is to set up an amount of tournaments that every player should participate in order to qualify for the biggest events, like World Championships.

21: [Question  From Stephane, Paris France: ]

Do you feel like Charity foundations like SOLIBAD can help the sport and how can Federations help this great idea (I love the idea of a worldwide Badminton Flashmob in 2011!)

Poul-Erik Høyer:

All contirbution is helpful. SOLIBAD is one, there are other good supporting projects, that are spreading the interest the interest of badminton. I support all good projects.

22: [Question  From CL Lee: ]

What do you think can be done to improve the TV/streaming coverage in Europe and US. As far as I know, not many of the tournaments are getting a lot of coverage in TV (including World championship). I think if we didn’t get more people to get to know badminton in high level. The interest will remain low. What do you think?

Poul-Erik Høyer:

I agree. In order to get people attention we also need to be more progressive and live-streaming from tournaments is something I want to develop.

23: [Question  From Matus , Slovakia:]

Hello there, what are your plans to the future for helping badminton in Europe to become more popular? Is there something in your mind that you are planning for long time? Thanks

Poul-Erik Høyer:

Of course, being a president of Badminton Europe, one of the main areas is to keep badminton on a high level of market shares and to develop badminton continuously, so that we can get the attention of spectators and from the media.

24: [Question  From Laurent Malaysia: ]

What do you think about the European prefer footballs than badminton ?

Poul-Erik Høyer:

(Laughing) Football is a very big sport; it is difficult to compete with football with everybody’s attention. We are on different levels. We need to work hard to keep up and to keep our level in sport in general so that we get media attention towards people outside of badminton. That is a big task.

25: [Question  From VB (france):]

Have you been elected head of Badminton Europe with a specific program, and if so, which one?

Poul-Erik Høyer:

I have not been elected with a special program. My election will of course leads to the strategic tasks for Badminton in Europe which we have a lot of focus on right now.

26: [Question  From Kurt, Berlin: ]

Hi Eric, after the change of the counting system matches are already very short sometimes – very long matches about 1 hour. There are rumors that other changes are on the way – can you say something about that? I would like to keep it as it is.

Poul-Erik Høyer:

So I consider this as rumors. I have not heard anything about changing the scoring system

27: [Question  From Marion-Netherlands: ]

What can be done about the lot of withdrawals just before or after the draw of Super Series and Grand Prix tournaments, of course injuries are always possible, but it not good propaganda when so many players are not coming after all.

Poul-Erik Høyer:

There has to be a reason for withdraws. Actions must be made, if players withdraw without any reason. We cannot tolerate that, either injuries or other serious matters.

28: [Question  From Laurent Malaysia:]

Surely you are a big role model, an idol, for us who likes badminton, and have inspired a lot of people. What had inspired you to become a badminton player?

Poul-Erik Høyer:

Others good players are always inspiring me. I also believe my coaches and parents, when I was younger, they inspired me as well.

29: [Question  From Sue, USA:]

Hi Poul Erik. If you were to take one and only one object on a desert Island, what would it be and why?

Poul-Erik Høyer:

A fishing-gear. To survive (laughing).

30: [Question  From Irenej, Slovakia:]

Hello again. What player you didn’t like to play when you was a player? Who was your best rival ? Thanks.

Poul-Erik Høyer:

I struggled against Joko Suprianto, but there are other good players – who didn’t make it easy for me on court.


Hi everyone. We will now take the last three questions for Poul Erik.

31: [Question  From Michaela, Czech rep.: ]

Where we can see you and meet you in near future ?

Poul-Erik Høyer:

I will be in Budapest, Hungary next week, but I will of course attending a number of European tournaments.

32: [Question  From Louis, UK: ]

Do you still play once in a while? Would you be keen on participating in an exhibition match (for SOLIBAD for instance?)

Poul-Erik Høyer:

I don’t do much playing anymore. My knees are not as they were, but I do play once in a while, playing exhibition matches, I normally don’t do this. There are better players.


Hi Poul Erik. As a tradition, we always keep the last question for us. What do you think we, at Badzine, could do to improve promote the game, and Improve our coverage for badminton in your opinion?

Poul-Erik Høyer:

Badzine is an area for people that know badminton.I think it is also important to spread out the knowledge, maybe through the development programs, that we have around the nations. I’m thinking about the schools programs, in order to get young people in the schools interested in Badzine. That could be one idea.


Thank you so much for your kind answers, we will try to do better and spread the knowledge as well. Schools will definitely be our next targets. Thanks for this bright idea! It was an honor to have you here today. Thank you for your time and good luck with the numerous tasks with badminton Europe.
Poul-Erik Høyer:

Thank you, back to you Raphael.


Thank you everyone for joining the Live Chat as well. We’ve had lots of readers today. It will be possible to re-live the Live Chat on Badzine. Thanks to Lina also, who’s had her fingers smoking while typing 😉 while Poul Erik was just enjoying doing the talking 😉

Our next guest on Badzine’s Live Chat will be another Dane – Jan O Jorgensen. Stay tuned and thank you everyone. So long Poul Erik !

Poul-Erik Høyer:

Bye to everyone!

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.