Mum-to-be Liu Ying advises retired athletes to keep working

PETALING JAYA: Life after retirement for an athlete is hard, but it’s harder for a woman, says Goh Liu Ying.

The former mixed doubles shuttler Liu Ying wants every athlete to have a sense of self-worth even when they are not under the spotlight anymore.

“Many athletes tend to lose their self-esteem after leaving the sporting scene, more so women, but I hope they will not think like that,” said Liu Ying, who won a silver medal with Chan Peng Soon at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.Pretty in gown: Liu Ying showing off a new gownPretty in gown: Liu Ying showing off a new gown

The 34-year-old said she could resonate with what Oscar award winner Datuk Michelle Yeoh’s had stated ‘Ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you’re ever past your prime.’

“I’ve just retired from the sport and it’s easy to feel down as you are not in the limelight anymore. Some feel they don’t have that self value anymore. I want to encourage all athletes that there’s more to life after retirement,” she added.

Liu Ying knows what she is talking about as she will be launching her third business project – a gown rental shop in Kuala Lumpur next month. Her shop Tuilerie will start operation in July with renting of evening gowns, baju kurung and saree that ranges from RM200 to RM1,200.

“I love being sporting and elegant too, so I’ve started this new gown rental business with the same concept.”

She has already set up a badminton academy GLY Academy in Melaka and runs a sports agency Wellsport, that organise events like the three-on-three badminton and even marathons are in the pipeline.

Life has changed drastically for Liu Ying after she retired in January. She got registered soon after and is now five months into her pregnancy.

“I’ve never imagined this stage of my life but I’m enjoying it,” said Liu Ying.

“I was called mummy during my playing days but now, I’m going to be a real mum. I want to do as much as I can before I focus on giving the best care for my child,” she said.

Although busy juggling with many things, Liu Ying has been keeping track on the progress of the mixed doubles department. The top five ranked pairs in the country are world No. 7 Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (18), Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei (20), Peng Soon-Cheah Yee See (36), Hoo Pang Ron-Teoh Mei Xing (50).

“Mixed doubles have come a long away. We used to have one pair but now, we are on par with the men’s doubles,” said Liu Ying, who was in the pioneer batch when mixed doubles was formed as a specialised department in 2009.

“We even have chance of having two pairs in the Paris Olympics if both can make it into the top eight by end of the qualification.

“It will be a great milestone if that can be achieved,” she added.

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