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MAIN Arrow to Sports Sports Arrow to Olympics Olympics Arrow to Badminton Badminton

olympic badmintonForms of badminton have been played in China, India and Greece since ancient times.

The modern version was brought back to England and popularized by the Duke of Beaufort. whose residence in Gloucestershire -- Badminton House -- lent its name to the sport

It was only in 1992 when the Barcelona Olympics became the first to officially recognize badminton as an Olympic sport, and it was not until the Atlanta games in 1996 that the mixed doubles event was added to the Olympic badminton program.

Among the uninitiated, badminton's image often evokes a leisurely game of lawn tennis. That is — until they experience the sport at modern Olympic-level play.

Drives, smashes and slices are only a few of the action-packed words to describe official badminton terminology, which is now familiar to some 200 million fans (and counting) worldwide.

Olympic badminton fun facts:

The left wing of a goose is the most favored for making shuttlecocks

• Since badminton debuted in 1992 Asian players have won 42 of the 46 Olympic medals.

• Worldwide, 1.1 billion people watched the inaugural 1992 Olympic Badminton competition on television.

• Brazil has never qualified for Olympic badminton, but as host country it will compete for the first time at the Rio 2016 Games

• Feathers from the left wing of the goose make the best shuttlecocks. The reason? A shuttlecock made from the feathers of the left wing will spin clockwise. One made from the feathers of the right wing will spin inconsistently. (Now there's a badminton fun fact!)

• Badminton is one the world's fastest racket sports. At top international competitions the shuttlecock has been timed at speeds over 200 m.p.h.

Just up ahead, learn more about or watch a super high-speed match, and you'll see why badminton has become such a popular Olympic sport...

More about Olympic badminton around the Web:

Olympic Badminton - Rio 2016 Summer Olympics - Check out the official site with a brief overview of the sport's history together with rules of competition, the official schedule, the latest scores, related news and photos.

Badminton Planet - Lots of facts on historical and modern badminton, but also check out story articles, photos and news.

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