This week Squash was again snubbed a place in the Olympics, after a confident bid to take part in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games. Our sport is left devastated after another rejection, but why did we lose out and what comes next…?
Squash was among 8 other sports contending for a spot at the 2020 Olympics, but after being left out of the event organisers recommendations their final hope has been lost. The five sports which were instead recommended to the IOC for inclusion were baseball/softball, karate, surfing, skateboarding and climbing.
This announcement made on Monday is being taken as another major setback for the sport, after also missing out on a strong bid for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The World Squash Federation (WSF) was confident in securing a long sought after place after strong bids and a great case for a well supported sport on the rise across the world. It’s relative ease of hosting the sport was also considered a major advantage, needing only 2 courts to host the full tournament.
Various elite sportsmen have also publicly shown their support for Squash’s Olympics bids, including England number one Squash player Nick Matthews, as well as legendary tennis stars Roger Federer and Andy Murray.
Squash is one of the
fastest growing sports on the planet, having made great strides recently in modernising the sport and broadcasting to new audiences. Event footage is now broadcast in
nearly 100 countries across the world, and new high profile tournaments are taking place in some of the world
largest cities, like the recent Net Suite open air tournament in San Francisco.
Following Monday’s announcement by Tokyo’s organisers, Squash WSF President Narayana Ramachandran declared “This is not the end for Squash. Our sport, played by vast numbers week in and week out, flourishes at every level from recreational to events around the world. We will go from strength to strength while we continue to target participation at a future date in the Games.”
So despite this recent setback, Squash with undoubtedly bounce back (excuse the pun) and continue to grow and gain support across the world. No question, another strong bid for the 2024 Olympics is on the cards and we will cross our fingers again. A successful bid for Squash to gain a place at an Olympic Games is surely not too far around the corner…