Monday 16 October 2023 will go down as one of the most momentous days in the history of Squash after the sport was finally voted in to the Olympic Games programme for the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.
Last week Squash was one of five sports proposed by the LA28 Organising Committee, for its edition of the Games only, to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
These were reviewed by the IOC Olympic Programme Commission before being put forward to the IOC Executive Board.
On Friday, the Executive Board accepted the recommendation from the Olympic Programme Commission and submitted the five sports to the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai, India.
Today, members of the IOC voted on the submission, with all sports accepted into the LA 2028 programme.
Along with Squash, the other additional sports accepted into LA28 are Cricket (Twenty20), Baseball/Softball, Lacrosse and Flag Football.
“These sports will make the Olympic Games LA28 unique,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “Their inclusion will allow the Olympic Movement to engage with new athlete and fan communities in the US and globally.”
Robert Donaghue, Squash Australia CEO, said the announcement has given an instant boost to the game.
“This is a historic and hugely exciting day for our sport. Squash has such a rich history, it’s a truly global game and a great pastime for participants of all ages and abilities,” said Donaghue. “This announcement will not only be an inspiration to our current crop of players, but provides incredible incentive and opportunity for a whole new generation.”
Squash Australia President Matt Schmidt said that with the good news comes an obligation to take the sport to another level.
“Now is a time to celebrate, but it’s also a time to think about how we capitalise on this wonderful opportunity for Squash,” said Schmidt. “The elite players will have an incredible chance to play on the biggest stage in sport, but the flow-on effect is where we can take the game to another level.
“We have seen the inspiration Olympians and the Games give to children and sports-lovers all around the world, and now Squash has this platform too. This is an unbelievable opportunity to grow the game from participation at the grassroots through programs like Squash Stars through to our best in the world.
“The next five years will be the busiest time we’ve ever seen in the sport, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
WSF President Zena Wooldridge said: “On behalf of the entire global squash community, I would like to express my immense delight at squash’s inclusion in the LA28 Olympic Games. Squash is an amazingly dynamic, diverse and demanding sport that is perfectly suited for the Olympic Games. Everyone involved in our sport is elated to be LA28 bound and we look forward to being part of an unparalleled Olympic Games experience.”
Original source from SquashAUS: https://www.squashaus.com.au/news/squash-voted-into-la-2028-olympic-programme