1 min

Golden shuttlecocks

Canadians take top prizes in men's badminton at World Outgames

Yani Macute, centre, of Guelph, Ontario, won gold in the men's C+ division of the badminton singles competition. Sebastien Charron, left, of Montreal, Quebec, took silver in the competition. The Danish competitor won bronze. Credit: Warren Brown

It was gold and silver for Canada in the men’s singles badminton tournament C+ division at the 2013 World Outgames in Antwerp, Belgium, Aug 6. Yani Macute of Guelph, Ontario, took gold, while Sebastien Charron of Montreal, Quebec (and Team Montreal), took silver. Denmark took the bronze.

Having come out on a Pride evening only a couple of years ago, Macute, 22, had never before played in an LGBT sporting event. “It just felt accepting and loving,” he says. “No judgment and lots of camaraderie. It’s just the way it is.”

This supportive nature became very apparent when an ankle injury early in the tournament almost derailed further play for him. Needing some time to recover, he found genuine concern and encouragement from his opponents.

With this Macute’s first time travelling outside of Canada since moving with his family from the Philippines in 2008, he’s been diligently exploring the host city of Antwerp. He’s enjoying learning the history, experiencing the food and culture, as well as meeting new people. “It’s been lots of walking!”

In continuing the trend of firsts on his journey, Macute carried the “Canada” sign during the opening ceremony of the games, leading the Canadian participants in the parade of nations. Having just become a Canadian last December, he says, “I felt proud of my country.”

Badminton, a popular event at the games, is expected to see hundreds of participants from a pool of many nations. Both Macute and Charron will compete in the doubles tournament, which takes place Aug 8 and 9.

Check out Xtra's photo slideshow from the Outgames opening ceremony. In addition, Xtra talked with some Canadian athletes to watch at this year’s Outgames.