Badminton star leaves legacy as NAIT’s most decorated athlete
When Kai Dan was 13 years old, his dad took him from his home in Xi’an in central China, to the city of Nanning, more than 1,800 kilometres south in the province of Guang Xi. For the next five years, he lived there on his own, seeing his parents just once or twice a year. His dad did this because he wanted only the brightest future for his son – and because of badminton.
“The first time as a kid, when I touched the badminton racquet, I loved it,” Dan says. “It was so cool.”
Judging by where Dan is today, sending him to a school devoted to one of Asia’s most popular sports was the right decision.
Dan graduates this week from NAIT’s JR Shaw School of Business with a diploma in Business Administration – Management. As a student athlete, the 24-year-old NAIT student became the first male to win five Canadian Collegiate Athletics Association (CCAA) titles, in badminton or any other sport. He leaves a unique legacy as NAIT’s most decorated athlete.
It’s Dan’s future that concerns him most, however. He has Olympic dreams, but they may come at a cost. Dan isn’t a member of the Chinese national team, ruling him out of competing for his home country. He isn’t Canadian, so he can’t play for Canada. This has demanded a decision: go for gold, but only at the expense of his Chinese citizenship.
Read the full story on Kai Dan.
NAIT's 50th Convocation is held on Friday, May 10 (6:30 p.m.) and Saturday, May 11 (8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.) at The Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 11455 - 87 Ave. More than 7,100 students will graduate this year.
Visit NAIT’s Flickr page (www.flickr.com/nait) to download a photo of Dan suitable for publication.
NAIT is one of Canada’s leading polytechnics, with almost 80,000 registrations worldwide in key areas including science, technology and the environment, business, health and trades. Known for real-world education and student success, NAIT also engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. NAIT enrolled its first students - 29 communication electrician apprentices - in 1962 and this year concludes its 50th anniversary celebrations.
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