The game of Squash was invented in London, England around the year 1830, and the first specialized Squash shoe, which led to the founding of Hi-Tec Sports PLC, has now sold more than 19 million pairs. However, despite the fact that the game has been around for over 140 years, it has still not been accepted as an Olympic sport.
Squash was once again snubbed by the International Olympic Committee as it missed out on inclusion for the Tokyo 2020 Games. Earlier this month, the Committee voted to add five new sports to the international competition, but Squash was not one of them.
Chief executive of the Professional Squash Association Alex Gough said, “The Olympic Game 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.”
Squash lost out to baseball/softball, surfing, climbing, skateboarding, and karate. However, despite this failure, the PSA remains optimistic about the future of the sport.
“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 position ever,” remarked Gough. “We have transitioned into a burgeoning global sport that is now broadcast in almost 100 countries worldwide and have witnessed increases in player earnings by over 20% so far in the past year alone … we are buoyed by the strides we continue to take and we are committed to continuing that journey irrespective of the Olympic Games.”
The former vice-president of the International Olympic Committee, Dick Pound, said that he was “very disappointed” by the rejection of Squash since it “meets everything we would like in an Olympic sport.”