While known as a backyard sport in America, few know that badminton is the second most-played sport in the world next to soccer. It’s extremely popular in Asia and European countries and became an Olympic sport in 1992.
As the 2016 Rio Olympic games are underway, people are reliving some of the best moments in Olympic history. One of those moments is from the 2004 summer olympic games, where NBC commentator Mary Carillo gave her infamous badminton rant on T.V.
In a four-minute unscripted rant, Carillo compared professional badminton to backyard badminton before going off into tangent that seems straight out of a horror movie.
“And somehow, mothers from all over the neighborhood hear that badminton is being played at Mary’s house,” she says in the video. “They’re dropping off their kids — they know it’s an all day affair — they know it’s gonna involve 17 other sports. They’re dropping off their kids, they’re leaving skid marks!”
In 2014, Carrilo explain the backstory behind her famous rant to Deadspin:
“Can’t believe that thing’s still around. I was hosting a morning show in Athens that covered a lot of badminton—some table tennis too, but badminton, I’d been assured, was going to be “the curling of the Summer Games.” (!) There was no script for that rant—just a little dead time—but it got some chuckles and a head shake from my producer. It was a pretty loose show—I’d already explained a team handball’s size by comparing it against various members of the melon family, and when I found out that equestrian horses were listed as “equipment” I did a rant on the fact that horses needed passports to get into the country and dramatically produced one, so surely they needed an identity upgrade..
That sort of nonsense got me a hosting gig on Torino’s Olympic Ice show, which is still one of my all-time favorite scams. Don’t know if it’s still kicking around, but maybe my salute to Guido The Zamboni Guy is still out there from that wackadoodle show..
Don’t know how I stay employed,
As a badminton lover, I love your passion Ms. Carillo!