When she was in her mid-twenties, Rikke Olsen was already considered to be an experienced player at the international level. Ever since she won the World Championships for Under16 in 1992 in mixed doubles with Jim Laugesen, and the European Championships for Under16 in women’s doubles with Mette Sørensen, she was headed straight for the top.
She grew up in a real badminton-family, where all of her three sisters also played. However, it was only her big sister Lotte, who made it as far as Rikke.
Jim Laugesen was not the only mixed doubles-partner with whom Rikke obtained big results, as her and Michael Søgaard won so many titles. At the Olympic Games in Sydney, the couple came close to bringing home the coveted medal to Denmark, but unfortunately they finished as number four.
To mention a few of the many titles, the couple won four Danish Championships in a row from 1998 to 2002, and two Gold medals at Danish Open in 1996 and 2000, two Silver medals at the All England in 1998 and 2001, and they also won the final at the Nordic Championships in 1995. Rikke show her broad range by winning two more Danish Championship titles with Jon Holst-Christensen in 1994 and 1995.
Most people probably remember Rikke’s many triumphs in women’s doubles, most of all her partnership with Helene Kirkegaard. With Helene, Rikke won the Danish Championships three times in 1995, 2000 and 2001, Danish Open/Denmark Open in 1996 and 2001 and they also reached the final at All England in 1996.
Just like in mixed doubles, Rikke also won titles with another partner, Marlene Thomsen, e.g. the Danish Championships in 1997 and 1998. As a player Rikke was very determined and constantly developed her play by learning new details. In women’s doubles you often saw Rikke control the play from the backline, but she also took up the challenge at the net.
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