Datuk Lee Chong Wei will be the first Malaysian athlete to have a wax figure displayed at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong.
However, he is only the second Malaysian to be given the honour, with Hollywood actress Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh having a wax figure of her put up for exhibition several years ago.
“I would never have imagined a wax figure of my own!” said an elated Lee in a Facebook posting on Wednesday (Jan 15).
“Thank you @madametussaudshongkong for the privilege and I’m extremely honoured to be the first Malaysian sportsman to join the list.
“Special shout-out to the Madame Tussauds Hong Kong team who were extremely patient and detailed during the detailing session. It was definitely a first for me!” he added.
Lee’s six-hour sitting session with Madame Tussauds Hong Kong was also shown in an official video, where the former world No. 1 shuttler greeted fans excitedly with, “Hello everyone. It’s been so long! I’m Lee Chong Wei. Thank you for your continuous support!”.
According to a statement by Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, Lee was not only cooperative during the sitting session, but was also jovial.
“When asked what delighted him the most during the sitting, Lee said: ‘I’m impressed at how they recorded details so meticulously, including the colour of my hair and eyes!
“‘I’m extremely honoured and grateful to be representing Malaysia.
“I hope that my wax figure will inspire more Malaysians to showcase their talent on the global stage’.”
Madame Tussauds Hong Kong head of marketing Bobo Yu is hoping that Lee’s figure at its exhibition would attract more sports fans around the world.
“We are indeed privileged to have such a brilliant athlete joining us. We hope this will attract sport aficionados from Malaysia and all over the world to come and experience the magic of badminton displayed through the badminton superstar, ” Yu said.
Lee, who retired from badminton last year, was ranked the world’s top badminton player for a record 349 weeks.
He was also recently appointed as Malaysia’s chef-de-mission for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.