Squash Eyes 2016 Olympic Dream
Feb 18, 2009 Leave a comment
Issued by Howard Harding on behalf of the World Squash Federation
The sport of Squash yesterday moved a step closer to its goal of becoming one of the sports included in the Summer Olympic Games, as the World Squash Federation (WSF) submitted its response to the 80–question Olympic Programme Review questionnaire.
Squash, played in 175 countries by over 20 million people, has made a strong case for itself by virtue of the fact that it can be easily integrated into the Olympic Games, wherever held. Requiring just two all-glass courts that can be located anywhere, it is an extremely cost effective and highly exciting spectator sport. Few can doubt the skill and fitness required to play at the top level.
Squash can also state with certainty that an Olympic medal would be the highest honour in the sport, bar none. This is further endorsed by the fact that all of the sport’s top players have signed a pledge to compete at the Olympic Games if selected.
The questionnaire responses highlight how Squash can help take the Olympic Games into new markets; many of the sport’s top players hail from countries which do not traditionally produce Olympic medallists. The World Champions come from countries which managed just two Olympic medals between them in Beijing (Egypt and Malaysia).
Surprisingly Squash has never been an Olympic sport, though it narrowly missed out in the run-up to the London 2012 Games. Squash will be competing against six sports for one of two possible places for new sports in the Olympic Programme for the 2016 Games.
Scott Garrett, Squash 2016 Bid Team Manager, said: “We are delighted with the case for squash which we have put forward in our questionnaire responses and we are confident that we are able to present strong arguments in all areas.”
Added Mr N Ramachandran, President of the World Squash Federation: “Our questionnaire response is a document of which we can all be very proud.”
The IOC Executive Board will meet to review all of the seven sports’ submissions in June and will put their recommendations to the remainder of the IOC who will vote on which sports to include in October.