Born on May 16 1985 in Markham, Ontario, as a child I played many sports, but badminton was always a big part of our family. My dad, Jamie McKee, was an international men’s singles badminton player. As well as winning numerous Canadian National Championships, my dad was a silver medalist at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. Coached by Mike DeBelle at the Granite Club in Toronto, every Sunday, I played with my dad and younger brother, Tommy McKee, who is also an accomplished Canadian badminton player.
During high school, I played both badminton and soccer until I realized that I would never be able to obtain elite levels in two sports. Therefore, at the end of high school, I choose to focus exclusively on my badminton. After making this decision, I moved to Calgary, Alberta to train at the Canadian National training center at the Glencoe Club while attending the University of Calgary, studying Kinesiology. My first year in Calgary, I won my first National Title, the Canadian National U19 mixed doubles with Billy Dejong.
After training at the Glencoe for 5 years, I moved to the Calgary Winter Club to work with one of the best mixed badminton players in the world; Kim Dong Moon of Korea. After a year, I returned to the Glencoe club for my final year in Calgary.
While in Calgary, I won five national titles (see complete list below). In 2007 – 08, I took a year and a half off from my studies, to qualify in women’s doubles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Though narrowly missing to qualify for the Olympics, I traveled to over 25 different countries, being in the main round of every single super series for one season. This experience taught me a lot about international badminton competition.
Those seven years of traveling and competing in badminton, also let me experience ‘The World’. My adventures have ranged from being underground in the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves of New Zealand, to the beaches of Fiji, to the top of Stirling Castle in Scotland, walking the Botanical Orchid Gardens of Singapore, driving along the Gold Coast in Australia and having a glass of wine on top of an elephant in the hillsides of India.
My training diet has included barramundi fish in Australia, black bean soup and dried cod salad in Brazil, the sweetest pineapple ever in Indonesia, paprika chicken and sausage in Hungary, laver bread (seaweed) in Wales, and the most delicious chocolate in Germany.
And now the adventure continues in Denmark….
Highlights of my badminton career:
- Trained at the National Badminton Training Center in Calgary and graduated from the University of Calgary with a Kinesiology degree
- 2005 Mixed Doubles U19 Canadian National Champion
- 2006 Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles U23 Canadian National Champion
- 2007 Women’s Doubles Canadian National Champion
- 2007 Pan American Champion in Women’s Doubles
- 2007 Romanian Open Women’s Doubles Champion
- 2008 Pan American Champion in Mixed Doubles
- 2009 Mixed Doubles Canadian National Champion
- 2009 Mixed Doubles Competitor at World’s in Hyderabad, India