Lois Alston, born 1931 as Lois Smedley, was a champion USA badminton player. Lois was married to fellow champion Joe Alston
Lois began playing badminton outdoors and at the Muni gym when she was around 12, but not seriously until she met a handsome young man in college named Joe Alston. She credits Joe with being her "mentor." She admired so many players through the years, all for different aspects of their games; all the way from sportsmanship, to special skills, to competitive spirit. Her most memorable badminton experience was reaching the singles semifinals at the All-England Championships in 1956 and 1957. Both times she had to defeat Heather Ward, who was England's young favorite to "win it all" (which she did a few years later). The press wasn't too pleased with her performance at the All-England Championships, especially her second time, and wrote her off as "the hard working American." Both years she lost to Judy Devlin Hashman in the semifinals. Because of her performance she was selected to the U.S. Uber Cup team and chosen to play the number three singles. During the 1956 and 1957 season, she was ranked 3rd in the World Rankings ( behind Judy and Margaret Varner). Lois still plays some badminton with a good friend and partner, Dori Haase, but not very strenuously. Lois says, "It doesn't take too long for us to get what we consider a workout!" For years, Lois coached juniors and ran many Junior tournaments. She says, "Working with juniors was very rewarding for me. I received so much from the game of badminton: wonderful friendships, travel, great competition, and warm memories...What a great sport!" Lois was an outstanding player and crowd pleaser, she was sensational in returning smash after smash from any man's racket, returning it precisely to a strategic place. She made the game look easy, and many young players wanted to play just like Lois Alston. [USAB 2010?]
1953 and 1954 - U.S. Mixed Doubles,
1956 -1957- All England Championship WS semis.
1956-57- Scottish World Invitational WD
1960 - Canadian Open Ladies' Doubles
1968 - Canadian Open Mixed Doubles
1956, l960, and l968 - Uber Cup Teams
1966 - Devlin Cup
1963 - Davidson Memorial Award
1968 - Helms Badminton Hall of Fame inductee
1988 - USBA Hall of Fame inductee
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