HNC students blow off steam in the HNC Fall 2019 Badminton Tournament

By Trixia Apiado

Top row, left to right: Selu Ofa Latukefu Tupou, Kevin Wu, Zhao Xu, Zhang Yinding, Professor Simon, Nick Henderson (referee and score-keeper). Middle row: Yang Zhiqi, Jia Huijing, Dong Huina, Michael Zhang. Front row: Cheng Jiangnan, Zhang Yaoyao, Amy Bodner, Professor PAT, Lucas Wille
Photo credit: Trixia Apiado

NANJING, China — On December 7, 2019, the Hopkins-Nanjing Center (HNC) community held an informal badminton tournament. Twelve students and two professors competed for bragging rights in an afternoon’s escape from the impending doom of finals.


In China, badminton is a simple, yet popular social game, requiring only a racket, a birdie and a positive attitude. Paul Armstrong-Taylor (also called PAT), a beloved Economics professor and the third-place winner alongside his partner Michael Zhang, believes that this is the sort of game where “different players of different levels can still have fun playing together.”

羽毛球的确切起源尚不清楚,但这种竞技形式已经在欧亚大陆流行了几个世纪。在中国,它和乒乓球一样是颇受欢迎的体育活动。羽毛球是一项非常简单的运动:你只需要一个球拍,一只球和一个积极的态度。包尔泰是一位深受喜爱的经济学教授,他与其搭档张笑尘位列第三。他认为这是一种 “不同级别的不同玩家仍然可以在一起玩得开心” 的游戏。

Match in session. Michael Zhang and Professor PAT vs. Zhang Yaoyao and Jia Huijing. Referee Nick Henderson keeps score. Photo credit: Trixia Apiado

Most competitors in the tournament were members of the HNC Badminton Club. The team practices for an hour every week. A quick game is always a good excuse to get some fresh air, exercise and procrastinate on homework. Zhang “Neo” Yinding, who won second place with Dong Huina, said, “I joined the competition because I wanted to win the prize and make more friends.” Cheng Jiangnan also thought that this “[was] a good opportunity to exercise and have fun together.” Cheng Jiangnan won fourth place with her partner Lucas Wille. Selu Tupou, on the other hand, wanted “a break from writing papers.”

参加比赛的大多数选手都是HNC羽毛球俱乐部的成员。球队每周练习一小时。快速的体育游戏总是一个获得新鲜空气、锻炼身体和拖延家庭作业的好借口。和董慧娜一起获得第二名的张寅丁说:“我参加比赛因为我想赢得奖品、结交更多朋友。” 程江南的爱好是羽毛球,她也认为这 “是一个锻炼和一起玩耍的好机会”。程江南和她的搭档陆可思获得第四名。另一方面,涂晓露则希望通过羽毛球“从写论文中解脱出来。”

Win or lose, beginner player Zhao “Mickey” Xu enjoyed the camaraderie with his partner Thomas Simon, esteemed HNC law professor. “We lost a round but we enjoyed it very much,” Mickey said. “It’s wonderful to partner with [Professor] Simon. He’s so energetic. It’s my honor.”

无论输赢与否,初学者许钊与他的搭档道子—— 一位受人尊敬的HNC法学教授,都有着深厚的友谊。许钊说:“我们输了一轮,但我们非常享受。和道子教授合作真好。他很有活力。这是我的荣幸。”

Match in session. Professor Simon, Xu Zhao (“Mickey”), and score keeper Michael Zhang waits for a serve. Photo credit: Trixia Apiado

Tournament winners Yang Zhiqi and Kevin Wu also bonded. “My partner and I didn’t know each other so well before this, but it’s been great,” Kevin said. “We can win together and lose together. It’s fun to compete together.”

锦标赛冠军杨智琦和吴汉石也结下了不解之缘。吴汉石说:“在这之前,我和我的搭档不太了解对方, 但这很好。我们可以一起赢,一起输。一起比赛很有趣。”

Michael Zhang concluded, “Overall, the tournament was great: a lot of healthy and friendly competition all in the spirit of the HNC.” Cross-cultural exchanges extend beyond the classroom at the HNC. We like to battle it out on the badminton court too! 

张笑尘总结道:“总的来说,这次比赛非常棒:很多健康友好的比赛都是以HNC的精神进行的。” 跨文化的交流不仅仅发生在HNC的课堂上。我们也都喜爱打羽毛球!

2019 HNC Badminton Tournament Winners: 1st place Yang Zhiqi and Kevin Wu; 2nd place Dong Huina and Neo;  3rd place Michael Zhang and Professor PAT; 4th place Lucas Wille and Cheng Jiangnan
Photo Credit: Zhang Yaoyao

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