Badminton was invented in India. It was adopted by English soldiers there in the 19th century, who brought the game to Great Britain and eventually to many other countries. The game was originally called “Poona”. The new sport took hold in England when it was exhibited there in 1873 at a party given by the Duke of Beaufort at his country estate, “Badminton”, in Gloucestershire.
Badminton was contested as a demonstration sport at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. It made its début as a full medal sport in 1992 at Barcelona. After 1972 it did not appear at the Olympics until its appearance at Barcelona on the medal program. This was then an unusual mode of entry into the Olympics, as sports were usually added after several demonstration appearances. Men and women compete in singles and doubles and there is a mixed doubles event at the Olympics. Badminton is governed by the International Badminton Federation (IBF), which was formed on 5 July 1934 in London with nine members – Canada, Denmark, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales. The organization was renamed to Badminton World Federation (BWF) on 24 September 2006 and has 188 members as of 2018.
Badminton has been dominated by China, Indonesia, and Korea, which have won 74 of 91 available medals through 2012, and 28 of 29 gold medals. Gao Ling (CHN) is the only badminton player to have won four medals, with Kim Dong-Mun (KOR) and Gir Yeong-A (KOR), having won three. Eight players have won two gold medals, including Gao Ling.