Calvin Liu

Shuttle Launch

After a few false starts, Howard Bach gets American badminton off the ground.

Photographer Seng Chen

Howard Bach, still dressed in his Yonex warm-ups, nervously scans the growing crowd. Spectators rush to find seats but do not sit—they’d rather stand and scream. The cacophonic sound of inflatable plastic applause sticks hammers through the arena as fans feverishly clap away. The stands are a blur of red, white and blue face paint. A young girl yells at a friend three seats away: “buy me nachos!” But the message is never received; the deafening roar of the crowd at Arrowhead Pond (Anaheim, CA) drowns it out.