On Wednesday, September 14, Phillip Chew of the U.S. Olympic Badminton Team visited with students during the Anaheim Hills Campus’ weekly flag salute, leading the school in the Pledge of Allegiance and speaking about his experiences as both an Olympian and former Fairmont student.
Dubbed the “Tiger Woods of Badminton,” Chew started playing when he was little over a year old, winning his first gold medal at the age of five at the U.S. Badminton Junior Nationals in the “9 and under” boys doubles and singles categories. Badminton is literally the family business — Chew’s family has owned the Orange County Badminton Club since 1996. A lifelong Orange County resident, Chew attended Fairmont Private Schools – Anaheim Hills Campus from preschool through 6th grade, practicing badminton up to three hours per day. With his “dream” of making the Olympics in sight, Chew left Fairmont so he could practice even more, with training sessions upwards of seven hours per day. The hard work and dedication paid off, as he won gold medals almost every year from 1999 until finally achieving his goal and competing at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
“They really prepare you for the future [at Fairmont],” said Chew. He went on to tell students about how Fairmont’s advanced curriculum ultimately helped him succeed in high school and, even now, with his college studies. Phillip Chew currently attends the University of California at Irvine, studying Business Economics, with hopes of one day taking over his family’s other business — a printing and packaging company. Chew has already set a new goal of competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, this time with his brother (and former Fairmont student) Ryan as his teammate and doubles partner.