Athlete Spotlight: Cadmus Yeo


Cadmus Yeo serves at the UC Davis Open Men’s Singles Semifinals.

Irvington Freshman became Pan American Badminton champion at only 9 years old

By Chandni Patel | Student Life Editor

Freshman Cadmus Yeo has been playing badminton for 6 years. He started playing badminton because he wanted to play a sport to stay fit, but sports like basketball, soccer or football were “too physical” for him. Yeo says that his favorite things about badminton are the friends he made and the experiences he had through the tournaments he played.

In 2009, Yeo played at his first Junior International Trials (JIT) at the age of 9, for a chance to qualify for USA’s Pan American team, and won 1st place in all three events: Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles. At the Pan American games in Puerto Rico that year, he won 1st for Doubles and Mixed Doubles and 3rd for Singles, despite injuring his knee during the Singles semifinals. “The joy of being able to win while injured was incredible,” said Yeo.

At the 2010 Pan American games in the Dominican Republic, he played against older players, but still managed get silver in Doubles. In Jamaica in 2011, Yeo won gold in Mixed Doubles and silver in Doubles. In 2013 at the Mexican Pan American games, he won gold in Doubles and Singles. Yeo says that his greatest achievement is being a Pan American badminton champion. “To be a Pan American champion,” explained Yeo, “is to be the best of North, South and Central America.”

Yeo has trained all over the Bay Area. “I’m currently training at Bintang’s Sunnyvale location under Head Coach Phu Khuu,” said Yeo. “I practice roughly 18 to 19 hours a week.”

Yeo cites badminton world champion Lee Chong Wei and his mother as his inspirations.  “Lee Chong Wei inspires me to always work as hard as I can,” said Yeo, “because even in the worst moments, there is still hope.” He said his mother teaches him “to always be the best you can be and that nothing is impossible if you keep your mind to it.”

Yeo’s pre-game ritual includes getting an hour of sleep and a 30-minute warm-up. “When they call me to play,” Yeo explained, “I wait until I’m 2 minutes to be defaulted, or disqualified, then show up.”

Yeo’s future goal is to qualify for the World Junior Championships and win a medal for Team USA. His advice to new players is “to work as hard as you can because, just like me, anyone can go from zero to hero.”