Gunawan, a former world and Olympic champ, coaches at San Gabriel Valley Badminton Club. He plans to compete at 2012 London Games; then, a more ambitious challenge: Coaching U.S. to world prominence.
The San Gabriel Valley Badminton Club was born eight months ago in a nondescript industrial park off the 57 Freeway in Pomona.
If you're looking for fancy bells and whistles — or, for that matter, heat — this isn't your place, with 19 simple badminton courts and a small, no-frills workout room packed into a chilly warehouse about the size of a hockey rink.
Yet Tony Gunawan, a former world and Olympic champion who has visited elaborate arenas all over the globe, can't think of anywhere else he'd rather be. Next summer's London Olympics mark what he promises will be the end of a long playing career, and the 36-year-old has a new muse — coaching the U.S. into a badminton power.
"This is what I want to do," says Gunawan, whose evening classes at the SGVBC draw players from all over Southern California. "The Olympics is one goal, of course; to represent the USA. But to . . . carry the players to a high level and competing internationally? It's a different goal."