Olympic Bid News
Future Of Squash Bright Despite Olympic Exclusion
- PSA CEO
In the wake of yesterday's confirmation from the International
Olympic Committee's (IOC) that squash will not feature in the 2020
Olympic Games, Professional Squash Association (PSA) Chief Executive
Alex Gough has reiterated his belief that the future of squash is
bright despite the latest blow to the sport’s Olympic aspirations.
Squash was one of three sports initially in the running to make it
to 2020 but was forced to embark on a period of uncertainty when
wrestling was reinstated in its favour in 2013. Changes to the
Olympic charter offered a reprieve as squash was listed alongside
baseball/softball, bowling, karate, roller sports, climbing, surfing
and wushu as vying for a place at the Games before yesterday's
announcement ended those hopes once again.
“The Olympic Games should be the pinnacle of any athlete’s career
and inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Games would have been a defining
moment for squash and our athletes," said Gough.
"To know that dream has been taken away from our players once again
is disappointing for all involved, but not unexpected.
"We were naturally disappointed in 2013 when the IOC chose to
re-instate wrestling during a period of time when squash appeared to
be a front-runner for Olympic inclusion, but throughout the course
of the last decade we have addressed all of the concerns the IOC
have put forward and as a result the sport is in its strongest
“We have transitioned into a bourgeoning global sport that is now
broadcast in almost 100 countries worldwide and have witnessed
increases in player earnings by over 20 per cent so far in the past
“As a sport squash is committed to driving forward equality, both in
revenue earning potential and playing opportunities, across both
sexes and the professional sport is now administered by one unified
governing body across the men's and women's games.
"We have one of the cleanest drug records of any professional sport
in the world and are a sport that is played in over 180 countries -
boasting a truly global footprint while our players, who regularly
cover over four kilometres per match, are amongst the fittest
athletes in the world and we are a sport that can be enjoyed equally
at beginner level and elite.
"Alongside that recent improvements in broadcast technology, video
referee technology, glass court developments and more have taken the
sport to a new dimension.
"These are all elements that everyone in the sport can feel truly
proud of and we are buoyed by the strides we continue to take and we
are committed to continuing that journey irrespective of the Olympic