There is not a coincidence that the game we now know as badminton was once called “Poona” – the sport emerged in the Western Indian city during British rule.
Poona is the descendent of a children’s game called battledore and shuttlecock, a version of which was played in ancient Greece over 2,000 years ago. In China, people played a game called “ti jian zi” , which means “kick the shuttle”.
The video below traces the sport’s modern roots in India.
Despite its ancient roots, badminton made its debut as a demonstration sport at the Olympics only in 1972, at the Summer Olympics in Munich. Played on a volleyball court, it amused more than 3,000 spectators.
Two decades later, the long-cherished dream of fans took form when became badminton became an official sport at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.