Badminton star courting fame

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:55 PM ET

Being a badminton player has its perks. Just ask Charmaine Reid.

The Calgarian has met some pretty famous people including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Celine Dion, Paul Newman, who is an avid badminton player, and Wayne Gretzky.

Fresh off winning a singles and doubles title, with partner Helen Nichol, at the Canadian championships last weekend, Reid, an Olympian in 2004, said she's been lucky to meet some icons.

"Tony Blair did come to Athens and watch some badminton. I was just standing around and he came up and chatted with me a bit," said Reid, ranked 27th in the world.

The International Badminton Federation has also changed the rules to adopt the rally point scoring system, (similar to that used by the volleyball) playing to 21 points to the best of 3 games.

"There's still lots more work to be done but once you see what real badminton is, it's pretty exciting -- shots at 200 miles per hour, and you can have rallies with 90 shots," said Reid, who will compete in the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, March 15-26.

But before the Games, Reid is off to Lima, Peru, for the Pan American stage of the Thomas/Uber Cup Championships, which start Wednesday.


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