Squash's 2020 Olympics Bid

Recent reports from Japan suggest that there is a great chance squash could be selected as a sport in the 2020 Summer Olympics, to be held in Tokyo. Up to this point, squash had failed to impress the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on three separate occasions, but many sources believe that this fourth bid could finally be squash's moment to get Olympic status.

An executive meeting will be taking place the first two weeks of December, during which the IOC will be debating several issues, including the possibility of adding a sport to the Olympic calendar.

Though there is some pessimism in the squash world in anticipation of this meeting--given their previous failures--others are optimistic. The Hong Kong national team's squash coach Tony Yuk-Kwan believes that squash has a fantastic chance of being added to the list of Olympic sports for 2020.

"We believe that this is going to be a huge moment for the future of Squash in the world," said Yuk-Kwan. "The sport is in a great place right now and its interests are aligned with the plans of the IOC president."

The IOC is currently headed by Thomas Bach. Bach is determined to get the Olympics "back on track", with 2020 being a landmark event in his presidency. Squash may not have done enough to impress Jacques Rogge's IOC, but the Bach era could be good for this racket sport.

There are three main factors that will impact a sport's Olympic future: credibility, youth, and being able to sustain itself. Squash qualifies on all three fronts. The sport has a major impact with kids around the world, both in affluent and third world countries. With more and more courts being built, the sustainability issue is no longer a hindrance for squash.

Squash did not make the cut last time, with another sport winning Olympic status instead. However, people associated with the Tokyo 2020 program are confident that squash can make the right impression in Japan and around the world. The squash courts would be a beautiful venue for Olympic events, while the roster of male and female athletes would not be that large.

A member of the IOC commmitee said there were many people in favor of adding squash to the 2020 games. The sport would be inexpensive to host in Tokyo, the roster of athletes would add credibility and star power to the Olympics, and the sport would make a huge impression with world audiences.