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Blog: Counting down the days

Alan Thatcher September 4, 2013 No Comments on Blog: Counting down the days
Ramy Ashour and Nicol David have been enthusiastic ambassadors for the Squash 2020 bid

Ramy Ashour and Nicol David have been enthusiastic ambassadors for the Squash 2020 bid

By ALAN THATCHER

Just four days until the big IOC vote to decide if squash will become and Olympic sport in 2020.

Twitter has been in a frenzy with squash players all over the planet amplifying the messages being boomed out by the World Squash Federation and its supporting media cast.

Joe McManus from the PST helpfully published the list of the 104 IOC members who will vote on the respective bids from squash, wrestling and baseball/softball (http://squashezine.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/the-104-ioc-members.html.

One familiar face is Prince Tunku Imran of Malaysia, a former President of the WSF and a big supporter of the game.

One can only hope that he has been lobbying hard in partnership with Vero, the highly successful bid team appointed by the WSF.

An article in Sports Illustrated reports that wrestling has been working hard to secure support for an immediate return to the Olympic fold, having been excluded by the IOC in February this year because of concerns over the governance of the sport.

Without political intervention, and strong-arm lobbying, it would be rather disingenuous to believe that wrestling has cleaned up its act in just a few short months.

However, the lobbying power of the two nations who won the majority of wrestling medals last year in London, the USA and Russia, is not to be underestimated. Nor is their power to influence smaller nations who rely on their financial (and military) support. Especially with the Putin factor leading Russia’s support for wrestling.

Against this kind of political background, the combined baseball-softball bid appears to have sunk without trace, especially as Major League Baseball has refused to release its star players for the Olympics.

So this leaves squash and wrestling going head to head.

The squash bid looks solid, It ticks all the boxes in terms of global spread and junior development and has two major plus points, the total support of world champions Ramy Ashour and Nicol David, and the spectacular impact created by placing the glass court in iconic locations.

In the Twittersphere, Olympic, Wimbledon and US Open champion Andy Murray reinforced his backing for the squash bid this week in New York, and I was happy to get four England cricket legends to hold a Squash 2020 sign after the Lashings World XI played at The Mote Cricket Club in Maidstone, Kent.

Every little dribble of support helps.

If squash wins the vote on Sunday, then I can guarantee you that World Squash Day on October 5th will be  the biggest party the planet has ever seen.

 

 

 

 

Posted on September 4, 2013

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About The Author

Alan Thatcher

Lifelong sports journalist and squash lover. Event promoter, coach, author, voice artist. Founder of World Squash Day.

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