Squash Canada Statement Regarding Paris 2024 Decision to not Forward Squash for Olympic Inclusion

2019-02-21

OTTAWA, ON, February 21, 2019 – As announced earlier today, squash has not been proposed as an additional sport for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games programme, with the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee choosing to put forward breakdancing, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing.

Squash Canada is extremely disappointed with this decision.  Paris 2024 is the fourth consecutive Olympics where squash has unsuccessfully campaigned for a place on the program.

“With great disappointment, our global squash community has taken another blow to our collective and long-standing Olympic hopes”, said Squash Canada President, Steve Wren.

“The pathway to reaching International Olympic Committee favour by the World Squash Federation and Professional Squash Association has been conducted with full consideration of previous misfortunes of non-selection.  Yet today, with the remarkable progress and accomplishments made to transform squash into contemporary relevance, it seems no clearer for what our sport still needs to address for inclusion.  Our young stars will wonder, as we all do, what next? 

But we have been here before, and as a result, squash has emerged stronger in the quest.  We as players, fans and lovers of our great sport will continue to pursue the pillars and principles that make squash the best sport on the planet.”

In a joint statement, the World Squash Federation and the Professional Squash Association claimed the proposed list of four sports "leads to a belief that Paris 2024 and the IOC favoured sports already in the Olympic programme, leaving practically no opportunity for other sports".

The two bodies added they were "greatly disappointed" by the decision but insisted the sport could "seamlessly integrate into the Olympic programme with minimal costs and an optimised pool of participants".

A delegation from the PSA and the WSF - which included French players Camille Serme and Victor Crouin - presented the reasons for squash's inclusion in front of the Paris 2024 Organising Committee in early January, where it received positive feedback from the Paris 2024 leadership. The sport has made huge strides forward in areas such as innovation, equality, sustainability and youth engagement - all of which matched the criteria that was communicated by Paris 2024 and the IOC.

Squash Canada remains committed to squash’s incredibly bright future irrespective of the Paris 2024 decision, with the sport’s progress highlighted by the upcoming celebration of Canadian squash at the Canada Winter Games, and the sport’s first $1 million dollar tournament - the PSA World Championships - in Chicago, over the coming week.

The Paris 2024 announcement can be viewed here.

The full WSF and PSA joint statement is available in English and French here.

A letter to all federations from WSF President, Jacques Fontaine, is here.

A journalist’s analysis of the Paris 2024 announcement can be read here.

 

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