Gail Emma Interview

29 year-old Gail Emms is Britain’s top female badminton player.


Hi-Tec Badminton 2004Did you have a health-conscious childhood?

My mum played women’s football for England, and ran and cycled everywhere. She encouraged us to be in every sports team and we weren’t allowed to eat any junk food.


Did you enjoy school sport?

I absolutely loved it. I was so annoying, I wanted to be the best at everything.


How do you exercise?

Two hours badminton every weekday, interval running sessions twice a week, and weights twice a week.


Do you look good when you exercise?

I start off looking good….


Biggest sporting achievement?

I have four. Olympic Silver, World Championship Gold, Commonwealth Gold and European Championship Gold.


When was the fastest you’ve ever run?

I once told a girl off for jumping a nightclub coat queue. She said she’d get me outside, so I set a world record for sprinting home in high heels.


How do you deal with stress?

I take it out on every single person around me. I am a nightmare.


What’s your best physical attribute?

I’m a natural blonde.


What one thing would you change about your appearance?

I’d be taller. I’m 5”3 and quite muscley and curvy, so if you stretched me out I’d be nice and lean.


Do you encourage others to be healthy?

I nag my friends when they smoke.


What’s your greatest health worry?

Getting a serious injury before the next Olympics.


What’s the least healthy thing you do?

Get bladdered on a Saturday night with my friends. The competitive edge comes out, I think I’m the world’s best drinker, so I challenge people to shots.


How do you keep colds at bay?

I don’t go near people who are sniffing.


Is the government responsible for people’s health?

Yes. There should be much more PE in schools, and more choice. Not everyone wants to play netball or rugby.


What badminton regulation would you change?

Misconduct. We can’t even swear on court without being yellow-carded. If I want to swear and break my racket then I should be allowed to. It’s my bloody racket. At the moment that would be ‘Misconduct’. Bollocks to that.


Copyright The Financial Times Ltd