EDITORIAL – Life is short…

Once again, Mother Nature has taken the life of a young man, this weekend. Tan Chee Tean was only 23 years old. Eric Meijs, last year, also disappeared in a […]

Once again, Mother Nature has taken the life of a young man, this weekend. Tan Chee Tean was only 23 years old. Eric Meijs, last year, also disappeared in a similar car in Europe. A few years ago, Karyn Velez also died in a car crash. And each time, for them like for all those who lost their lives in the tsunami in Indonesia this weekend, I wonder: why is this happening? Randomly, people’s lives are just taken, with no reason. And every time I think about it, I come to the same conclusion: life is too short not to be lived fully. We owe it to all those who leave this planet – especially at such a young age – to live ours fully.

Because we are still here, still breathing, still able to enjoy our lives. It’s not fair that they are gone and we are still here, but that’s how it is. Not much we can do. It tells me that we can’t afford to be unhappy with what we have and that we must take the best out of every opportunity we are given. And if they are not given to us, then we should take them. Go for the very best, always. Chase our dreams, live them as much as we can, no matter what people say around us. We have only one shot at living our dreams, so we have to take it.

There is one thing about the badminton community – many of the people involved live their passion. The players, no matter how highly ranked they are, seem to be struggling to be where they are, for that very same reason: because they chase their dreams. They chase that gold medal in the Olympics. Carolina dreamt of that gold medal in Rio, and she kept dreaming until she got it. So did Lin Dan, Poul Erik, and many others. For those who play at a lower level, they chase that regional title. For umpires, they chase that spot in the chair in a major competition final. I myself chase that dream of shooting the best of the best, in a sport that I love.

But I do know, also, that some do not dare to dream.  They wish that they could be out there, but don’t dare to go for it, because they don’t have the self confidence; because they think it’s best to have a regular job that pays better, or because they simply have not been taught to live their dreams. To those, I say – don’t listen to that little reasonable voice. Go for it. Make it happen. There is no limit to what you can do.  Too often, we set limits to ourselves, because we don’t believe we can achieve it. And then, we follow the wrong path. Last year, Peter Ganes passed away from cancer. He too was driven by his passion, and he followed one of his dreams to be a top umpire. He lived his dreams.

This year, Marine, whom I considered as my little sister,  died on a mountain trip with her boyfriend. She was a young doctor, a mountain lover. She was only 23. Against all odds after 8 long years of studying where she often thought of letting everything go, she kept fighting and had become a doctor and lived her passion, lived her dream. And she was a wonderful young doctor. I feel like I owe it to her to be happy and to keep chasing my dream like we all do to our loved ones who go too soon.

This is also true for those who are badminton players in spite of their own will, because they were told to be – by parents, coaches, the environment – and who do not enjoy their lives, who are tired of this life of sacrifices. To them, I say: have the guts to change your life.  Do what you want. We have one life and we can’t afford to waste years doing something we don’t like. Every day, I wake up, and I feel like I’m daydreaming because I have a fantastic job. I managed to be a photographer in a sport that I love, to be a journalist in one of the most respected news magazines in my country, when it’s so difficult to be a freelance reporter in modern years. I managed to start a foundation with close friends that helps children all over the world. Hard work and a lot of luck helped along the way, but all this was possible because I dared to dream. And I dared to try to make it happen. And I wouldn’t settle for less. Because, all along the way, I saw loved ones go too soon, and I kept telling myself that I owed it to them to try my very best to be happy and to fulfill my dreams. Life is too short. I hope that all those who were close to Chee Tean or Eric do realize that. And that they make sure that the way these guys lived their life – driven by passion and following their dreams no matter how hard it was – will be a lesson for us, that we must not take anything for granted, and that we must do everything in our power to be happy. To chase our dreams. Always.

Raphaël Sachetat


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.