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Badminton is popular everywhere, but it is more popular in some places than it is in others. In Europe and Asia, badminton is especially popular, but in Northern Europe, the place the sport really seems to take off is Denmark. Indeed, badminton in Denmark is extremely popular, and there are a variety of reasons why this is so.

In Denmark, the sport of badminton is popular, even more so than in the rest of Northern Europe. First, Denmark has won 12 of the last 19 mixed-team championships in Europe, which has drastically increased the popularity of the game. Second, badminton is highly accessible and encouraged by schools as it is now played in elementary school through high school. Lastly, professional badminton players in Denmark are treated like rock stars and kids all over look up to them.

Tine Baum (Rasumussen)
Tine Baum (Rasumussen)

The Team Is Continuously Winning

Badminton players in Denmark are continuously winning tournaments, and the major television networks in the country always broadcast the games. This intense coverage means that even more people are exposed to the sport, which is yet another reason why it is growing in popularity. In fact, the three most popular sports in Denmark right now are soccer, handball, and badminton. 

Badminton stars such as Peter Gade and Tine Rasmussen help to attract younger players who want to be just like them. More recently, Viktor Axelsen and Anders Antonsen have been at the top of men’s singles badminton and are the pride and joy of Denmark. With so many young people idolizing badminton players, there’s little wonder why the sport increases in popularity each and every year.

Peter Gade
Peter Gade

In Europe, the only country that even comes close to the Asian programs, which are by far the best in the world, is Denmark. China, Indonesia, and Japan have especially talented teams, but the only team in all of Europe that even comes close to those teams is the team from Denmark. Denmark, in fact, has won medals in the Olympic games in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2012, 2016, and 2021. In addition, Denmark is so good that in 2009, the country’s Tine Rasmussen beat the number-one female player in the world, Zhou Mi, at the Malaysia Open.

One of the best male badminton players that came from Denmark, Peter Gade, was ranked number one from 1998 to 2001 and has won 16 Grand Prix titles. Even today, he is an active player (in lower level tournaments) and loves challenging some of the best players to a game of badminton. Gade, Rasmussen, Axelsen, and Antonsen are just a couple of the many talented professional badminton players in Denmark, but considering the popularity of the game, it won’t be long before many other players in the country start to catch up with them.

Viktor Axelsen
Viktor Axelsen

One of the indications that the sport of badminton is likely never to wane in popularity is the fact that coaches now have more badminton players than ever before to choose from when trying to build more successful teams. There is such a vast interest in the sport that Denmark is very likely to continue winning international tournaments, including the Olympic games. Simply put, the Danish team knows how to win, and they are not likely to forget how to win anytime soon.

Why is Denmark So Good At Badminton?

You might be wondering how Denmark, with a population of less than 6 million people, can play against the Chinese, which has 1.5 billion people, and give them a run for their money. There are two main reasons for this. First of all, badminton is so popular that there are local clubs and facilities all over the country that provide badminton courts for people of all ages to play. This results in lots of people who play badminton on a regular basis, increasing the number of people who are getting good at the sport.

Anders Antonsen
Anders Antonsen

Secondly, there is now a national training center located in Copenhagen, which is where some of the best players in the country come together and train to improve their badminton skills. Badminton in Denmark is popular for numerous reasons, but at the end of the day, all badminton players have to have someone to play against. After all, this isn’t a sport you can play by yourself if you want to improve your skills. This is what makes the national training center so unique. It is a place where people who love badminton and wish to move up to the next level of playing – which includes the goal of being a professional player for many of them – get the chance to practice and do just that.

Does the Average Danish Person Have a Physical Advantage to Playing Badminton?

It isn’t that their people have a physical advantage, it’s that the game is taken so seriously throughout the country that they have mental and tactical advantages that many other players from other countries simply don’t have. Today, badminton coaches all over the country use computers to measure the players’ abilities and devise ways to make them even better players. The software they use provides them with information and statistics on player form and where their strengths and weaknesses lie. This, in turn, helps the coach help the players so that they become better and better over time.

In other words, badminton in Denmark is taken seriously. This is demonstrated by how technical the coaches get when trying out ways to improve the team members. They are some of the best badminton coaches in the world and therefore, they produce some of the best badminton players in the world. These players believe in recognizing their natural talents, working very hard to improve their skills, then using those skills to accomplish their sports-related goals. This seems to be a winning combination for the country of Denmark.

Are There Environmental Factors That Make Indoor Badminton a Popular Choice?

Cold Weather

One environmental factor is the fact that the winters are so cold in Denmark, and because badminton is an indoor sport, it is easy for Danes to play the sport all year long. Unlike soccer, which has to be played outdoors, they don’t have to take breaks in badminton but instead can keep on playing even when the weather is bitter cold outside. They can play all year around, so they can continuously improve their skills. After all, if you’re going to pick a sport to excel at, why not pick one that you can practice 12 months out of the year?

When you consider that the game of badminton wasn’t introduced to Denmark until the 1920s, it seems amazing that their people can be so good at it. But the combination of introducing the sport to kids when they’re very young and having professional players who are idolized and looked up to seems to be a successful recipe.

So, if you were to ask someone why the Danish are so popular at badminton, it can be summed up like this: clubs (facilities where they can play to improve their skills) and cold weather. They know how to win tournaments and are giving even the historically dominant Asian teams some stiff competition when it comes to the game of badminton, and it doesn’t look like this is going to change anytime soon.


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