Athlete of the Month

The Campanile: What is your event in badminton?

Eric Chiang: Mens doubles and mixed doubles.

TC: Who’s your partner?

EC: Carissa “Shuttlecock Smasher” Zou and Flavia “Flavor” Stiglich. Both have been  valuable assets to the team.

TC: What are your greatest accomplishments during your time on the Paly badminton team?

EC: My greatest accomplishments would probably be getting second at CCS and getting first at SCVALS as a junior.

TC: How would you describe your playing style?

EC: I like to minimize my movements and be efficient with my shots and footwork. This allows me to play in longer intervals so I can tire my opponent out and then finish them off with a variety of shots and fast smashes.

TC: How did you start badminton?

EC: I followed my ancestors’ passions since 2000 BC and didn’t want to dishonor my family. Just kidding. My friend asked me to play badminton one day and I tried it out. The sport started to grow on me, and before I knew it I was playing for a club.

TC: What is your favorite part about the badminton team?

EC: Helping and improving my fellow badminton teammates. I think the most important part about badminton is trying your best. Encouraging and helping others to fulfill their potential has always been a dream of mine.

TC: Who is your favorite badminton player and why?

EC: AI. I love going to practice. I’m always talking about practice.

TC: Do you have any special rituals before you play in a game?

EC: I pray in the middle of the court and give it all to my lord and savior. He provides and he gives me the strength. Without him, there is no way that I would be playing badminton now. #buddhism

TC: Are you going to continue to play badminton in college?

EC: Yes.

TC: What do you enjoy about badminton

EC: Besides playing the sport itself, over the years I’ve been able to meet new people every year joining the team and building a community that not many people will know about outside of badminton. Establishing teamwork with people that I’ve never worked before and encounter challenges with my teammates is great.

TC: Can you describe your relationship with your head coach?

EC: The past four years I’ve been here, we’ve had two head coaches and I think that I’ve been able to create a pretty close bond with them. The first coach, I got to know him outside of badminton and I got to know him pretty well until he had to leave. Our current coach, coach Jake Halas, has done a wonderful job even though he didn’t know very much coming in so I had to help him out a bit.

TC: Since you’re graduating this year, what will you miss most about the team?

EC: I’ll miss the Paly badminton community and the aspect of being able to teach people who are new to a sport.

TC: Alright this is the end of the interview, good luck on the rest of your season.

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