The Singapore New Paper

Badminton is Sally's game now
The semi-retired singer has given up the limelight to promote the sport
By Avis Wong

February 09, 2007

SHE once lived the high life under the spotlight, entertaining fans and fending off the media.Now, she sits at the office desk, working on the computer and handling paper work.Sally Yeh has gone from glamorous star to office worker - and she's loving every minute of it.The semi-retired singer is helping out at the Golden Gate Badminton Club in Menlo Park, California, which was opened in 2005 by her friend Mike Yang and 1992 US Badminton Olympian Ben Lee.'I do administration work there to promote badminton and I just love this job. I work from 10am to 11pm, seven days a week. Much more exhausting than singing. (I) don't even have time to do my laundry,' the 46-year-old wrote in an e-mail to The New Paper recently.Come July, Sally will have been married to singer George Lam for 11 years.'I do everything. I love housework, cooking and cleaning. Love it,' she wrote, adding that she detests gardening because, unlike her parents who have green fingers, she 'can't even keep a small plant alive... it's pathetic'.Even though it was only an e-mail interview, Sally's zesty persona was clear from her generous replies, dotted liberally with upper-case letters and exclamation marks. It was almost as if she was rambling away in front of you.What gets her most excited is badminton. And her passion for the sport, which she played every day at one point, is infectious.'It is the coolest thing on the planet! So exciting it makes my eyeballs twirl. Badminton, when you play to a certain level, is definitely an extreme sport,' exclaimed Sally who also ice-skates, skis and plays golf.

BETTER SHAPE'The stamina it takes to play badminton is phenomenal. I'm in much better shape now than I was at 20.'Sally was born in Taipei and grew up in Canada. She acted in '80s Hong Kong films like Cupid One and Peking Opera Blues and her last celluloid appearance was in Sisters of The World Unite in 1991.But it is her singing career that she is best remembered for, having churned out evergreens like Walk With Style.Sally and George have been shuttling between Hong Kong and San Francisco since their marriage, but work-wise, she has been taking it slow.No more new albums or movies for her, just the occasional performance, such as this Saturday's Love, Sally concert organised by NTUC Club and Quebec Leisure for Valentine's Day.Despite years away from the media glare, there have been reports about relationship problems between the couple, including recent rumours about Sally having an affair with Mike.

She wrote: 'The truth is always distorted. Many things have been said about me and they hurt very much.'I don't want to clarify because when I do, (the media) gets to make more money from my clarification as well, so I just swallow the poison and get a headache, heartache and stomach ache for a while. Then the pain eases till the next devastating report.'Perhaps those stories start circulating because of the couple's different personalities. Sally is gregarious and outspoken, while George, 59, is reticent.Wrote Sally: 'Yes, we are (as) different as night and day but our common ground has always been our music... We have our ups and downs as in any relationship.'The only thing I believe in is fate. There are two things in life I cannot figure out - with no set rules, no right or wrong, no knowledge of what's going to happen next, even if you try your best - and those are love and golf.'

Compiled at Sally Yeh: The Effervescent Queen of Pop