|Born:||April 21, 1983|
Los Alamitos, CA
|Hometown:||Garden Grove, CA|
|Residence:||Garden Grove, CA|
Because the Pan America continental federation is guaranteed at least one representative in each of the five Olympic badminton events, the women's doubles team of May Mangkalakiri and Eva Lee will be going to the Beijing Games despite being ranked No. 35 in the world (only 16 doubles teams will participate in each of the three doubles events in Beijing). Mangkalakiri and Lee passed the Canadian duo of Fiona McKee and Charmaine Reid in the final month of rankings and won their point battle for the Pan-American Olympic quota by the score of 26602 to 26016.
Not out of the question
Despite their youth and inexperience on the international level, Mangkalakiri and Lee both have plenty of success about which to write home. Mangkalakiri was a three-time USOC Female Badminton Athlete of the Year, and the duo also won gold at the Pan American championships in Rio de Janeiro.
She's going to Disneyland
No, really. Regardless of what happens in Beijing, the Southern Cal resident enjoys visiting the West Coast Disney theme park. She also plays the piano in her spare time and serves as a part-time badminton coach at the Orange County Badminton Club.
High school connections
Lee and Mangkalakiri were high school teammates for a short time. The latter graduated from Villa Park High School (Villa Park, Calif.) in 2001, the same year that Lee was a freshman. In addition, Bob Malaythong, a qualifier in men's doubles, served as an assistant coach for Villa Park from 2001-02 before serving as its head coach from 2003-06.
All Olympic merchandise is marked down. Act now, because when it's gone…it's gone!