On 23 December 2020, Indonesia’s Greysia Polii put on a different type of shoe to start her day. These were not her typical badminton shoes to train, but her wedding day shoes. This was about to become a very special day for the Indonesian star.
Engaged to her partner Felix Djimin for two and a half years, the world No.6 sealed 2020 with an intimate wedding in front of 130 family and friends in Jakarta.
BWF sat down with the star earlier this year to congratulate the new bride.
“Thank you so much. It was an intimate, private and blessed wedding day,” giggled the blushing new bride. Having rescheduled the wedding three times due to the pandemic, wedding guests were requested to take COVID-19 antigen swab tests before entering the ceremony to ensure everyone’s safety.
“Felix and I had our dream wedding. We are both so grateful,” she said.
How difficult was it to balance wedding preparations and badminton training?
“Me and my husband had been discussing the wedding for a long time. We knew the schedule in advance coming into Bangkok. I said to Felix after the wedding, we won’t have time for a honeymoon,” she said.
Not one to park badminton or Olympic qualifying training, Polii makes it clear she was as committed to training as she was to her wedding preparation.
“I of course want time with my husband, but at the same time I have my responsibilities as an athlete because I was preparing for the three back-to-back tournaments (in Thailand). I need to juggle things. Being apart while I compete is not a problem at all for us. Felix is very supportive and I’m very grateful for him,” Polii reveals.
Getting back into the swing of things, the Jakarta native told BWF she was thrilled to be back on court.
“Finally, we’re back. We are all back right now. I feel great and I’m excited to see what’s coming,” said an elated Polii.
“When badminton stopped for 10 months, personally for me, it was a rest. I’ve been competing in badminton for years and suddenly we all got 10 months off. I actually liked the pandemic season,” Polii chuckles.
“It has been 10 months of training and keeping my body fit. The break has been enough. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are this year I’m really looking forward to it. It’s good timing for me, for us (Apriyani Rahayu),” as Polii refers to her hard-working doubles partner.
Going into the Asian leg, Polii’s sights were always going to be high. “Me, my partner and my coach of course wanted to do the best after such a long time of not competing. I really wanted to get that on-court feeling and atmosphere back,” she said despite spectators not being permitted at the three tournaments due to COVID-19 restrictions.
After securing the women’s doubles title at the Yonex Thailand Open, Polii dedicated her win to her late brother, whom she lost the day after her wedding.
“We wanted to make sure we could maintain things we had worked on during the competition break. The spirit was just to do the competition in a much better way, in a better time,” and it appears that advise truly worked for the 33-year-old.