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The WSF delegation of Christian Leighton, Susie Simcock and Jahangir Khan head to Singapore for the IOC conference confident of squash's case for Olympic inclusion, with some existing sports under threat ...

Squash Hopes Raised
By IOC Report
WSF press release

Squash's hopes of making its debut in the 2012 Olympic Games have been given a boost by the publication of the final report from the IOC Olympic Programme Commission that summarises the technical evaluation of the 28 existing Olympic summer sports and the five 'new' sports under consideration.

the IOC report ...The report is the culmination of intense work by the IOC since the World Squash Federation (WSF) received news in September 2004 that Squash - alongside golf, roller sports, rugby and karate - would be "studied further" with a view to inclusion in the Olympic Games programme for 2012.

The report has been distributed to all IOC Members that will vote on the sports programme of the 2012 Olympic Games at the 117th IOC Session in Singapore from 6-9 July. Jacques Rogge, IOC President, has urged all IOC Members to vote "based on the technical merits of a sport as analysed by the experts and noted in this report".

Christian Leighton, Chief Executive of the WSF, said: "The report on our sport is very strong. Squash meets all criteria to become an Olympic sport and receives excellent marks on virtually all areas of the study.

"Amongst the highlights of the report are that Squash guarantees that the best athletes would compete in the Olympic Games, which would be seen as the pinnacle event in a squash athlete's career; the sport has 125 member national federations with a 'high' percentage of these being active; and it is present in all Major Games.

"Furthermore, the report pointed out that a 'high' number of countries broadcasted the last two World Championships; that venue options enable the host city to place the court in an iconic location with 'low costs'; and, importantly, that Squash's development plans were rated as 'strong', and female participation in the management of the International Federation is a benchmark among all IFs," explained Leighton.

In a letter sent to all Member Nation Federations, Leighton points out that the sport's bid and lobby process has emphasised the very strengths that the report underscores. "So it is reassuring to know that we have been using the right messages.

"The elite game has come of age in the past two decades and WSF is extremely excited at the possibility of bringing the world's best athletes and our limitless venue/setting possibilities to one of the bidding cities in 2012."

Leighton also concedes that "the outcome of the 117th IOC Session is difficult to predict, but Squash has received many notes of support from key IOC Members who love our sport and would like to see us become an Olympic sport.

Susie Simcock with Jacques Rogge in Manchester, 2002 ..."You should all feel very proud that our sport is so close to Olympic inclusion. This dream will not fade until we all achieve the objective," concluded the WSF chief.

Squash legend Jahangir Khan, the record ten-times British Open champion who is now President of the WSF, will lead the Federation's team in Singapore in July, joined by Leighton and Emeritus President Susie Simcock.

Full details of the
 117th IOC  Session in  Singapore

The vote for the host city takes place on Wed 6th July, the vote for the sports to be included is on Fri 8th July.


Four sports
under threat ?

Taekwondo, baseball, softball and modern pentathlon are facing possible elimination from the Olympics in 2012 when the International Olympic Committee has its meeting in July in Singapore, according to a number of reports in the online press.

The IOC will hold a sport-by-sport secret ballot to determine which among its 28 sports it may eliminate to cut down on the size of the Summer Olympics, while increasing global interest for the games.

However, no sport has been dropped from the program since polo in 1936, and the existing sports are urging the IOC to leave the program as it is ...


Olympic Optimism

Squash steps up
Olympic bid

Olympic Hopes
take a knock

Dramatic venues a
boost for squash

Squash and the Olympics -
 a perfect match

Olympic sports gang up
No clues for hopefuls


FIRST ROUND: IOC members will vote by secret ballot on each of the 28 sports that were in the programme for the 2004 Athens Games. The results of the vote will be announced at the end of the proceedings.

SECOND ROUND: If one or more sports is not admitted to be part of the programme because they do not obtain a majority (more than 50% of the votes), this sport will remain an Olympic sport: it will remain on the list but will not be on the programme for the 2012 Games.

THIRD ROUND: If one or more sports is not admitted to the programme of the 2012 Games and therefore the total limit of the 28 sports on the programme has not been reached, another sport(s) will be put on the programme. The executive board will then propose the sport(s).

FOURTH ROUND: IOC members will then vote by secret ballot on the proposal of the executive board. In order to become an Olympic sport, a two-thirds majority is needed. In order for an Olympic sport to be included in the sports programme, a simple majority is needed.
No clues for hopefuls as IOC
releases sports report

The 28 sports hoping to stay in the Olympic Games, and the five sports on the waiting list, received no assurances on Monday with the release of the report assessing their merits.

The International Olympic Committee's Programme Commission published its hefty 265-page report but made no recommendations to the IOC members who will vote on the programme at the session in Singapore on July 8.

The report assessed each Olympic sport, plus squash, rugby, golf, karate and roller sports, across a range of 33 criteria agreed in Athens last year, including global popularity, television and media coverage, gender equity and ticket sales.

Each of the 28 sports contested at the 2004 Athens Games will be put to a vote in Singapore. Any sport failing to win a majority of votes will be dropped for the 2012 Olympics.

If a sport is dropped, the IOC's executive board will select one or more sports from the five on the waiting list and members will then be asked to vote on its inclusion.


The full report, plus a summary of the state of play, is available on www.olympic.org

IOC releases Sports report

Olympic sports gang up
to block squash

Squash is facing a massive closed-shop barrier from existing Olympic sports as the World Squash Federation's bid for a place in the 2012 Games gets close to the voting stage.

Latest reports from Geneva reveal that the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), which represents all 28 sports, have asked the IOC not to drop any of the disciplines when it comes to the vote on July 8.

In an Associated Press agency report, ASOIF president Denis Oswald said removing even one of the sports would be "like a pack of cards". He said: "You take one card out and the whole thing might fall down."

He also criticised rugby sevens and golf, which are bidding for a place in the 2012 Games alongside squash, karate and roller sports.

Olympic Stories

Olympic Optimism

Squash steps up
Olympic bid

Olympic Hopes
take a knock

Dramatic venues a
boost for squash

Squash and the Olympics -
 a perfect match

Olympic sports gang up


"As a professional squash player it would be the ultimate goal in my career to win an Olympic Gold Medal - I have goose bumps just thinking about it!

"Nothing would be bigger in our sport, it would outshine any other accolade one could win, and it would be the greatest achievement for the sport.

"The  decision is being made on July 8th, which happens to be my Birthday, what a great present that would be, to be included in the Olympics! "

Natalie Grainger
World #4
WISPA President


"It would appear that the top squash players throughout the world today feel that if squash were to be included in the Olympic Games, this would by and large be the pinnacle squash event of their careers."

"If one considers the scope of nations in which squash is played, the recent growth of the PSA men's tour, the WISPA women's tour, and the international junior circuit, squash is truly a global sport.

"Viewership of the sport is at unprecedented levels due to the continuous developments within television and web streaming.

"All of these ingredients suggest squash would be a valuable addition to the Olympic Games."

Graham Ryding
World #13
PSA Director
Report from AP ...

Sports federations to urge IOC members to keep existing Olympic program

International federations will make a direct plea to IOC members not to drop any of the 28 sports from the program of the Summer Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee is putting each sport to a vote at its session in Singapore next month. Any sport failing to get a majority will be dropped from the program for the 2012 Olympics.

The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), which represents all 28 sports, met Tuesday to review the situation and decided to address the members before the July 8 vote.

"We unanimously agreed they should avoid the risk of disrupting this successful balance of this program," ASOIF president Denis Oswald said.

"It's like a house of cards. You take one card out and the whole thing might fall down."

IOC president Jacques Rogge says the Olympics must maintain a maximum of 28 sports, 301 medal events and 10,500 athletes. Five sports are hoping to get into the Olympics - golf, rugby, karate, squash and roller sports - but none will be added unless one is dropped.

IOC members will vote by secret ballot on each of the sports contested in Athens last summer. If one or more sports go out, the IOC executive board will decide which of the five sports on the waiting list should be proposed for admission. Oswald said he will address the members shortly before the vote, both verbally and in a written letter.

"This is an excellent balance and has led to great financial, social and media success of the games," he said. "The collective value of the sports is much greater than the sum of its parts."

ASOIF said there is no evidence that the sports hoping to gain entry would be any better than those already on the program. Oswald called rugby sevens - the abbreviated version of rugby being considered for the Olympics - 'a joke.' He also said there was no guarantee the world's top golfers would play in the Olympics.

"There was talk of eliminating baseball because Major League Baseball doesn't send their best players," Oswald said. "But what if the top golfers say the Olympics are not interesting? In this case the replacement would not be adequate."

Oswald insisted the federations were open to evolution and willing to consider cutting or reducing disciplines, classes or distances in certain sports.

ASOIF also agreed the IOC should keep the vote totals secret to avoid potential embarrassment and problems with sponsors for any sport which barely scrapes in.

"It would only announced if a sport is in or out," Oswald said. "We want to avoid the results of the vote from being exploited or having some sports considered 'more Olympic' than others.

"The IOC has already agreed to keep the percentages secret from the public, IOC members and even the federations themselves, if that's what ASOIF wants," Oswald said.

Oswald said Rogge promised to address IOC members and remind them the vote is about the global picture, not about settling old scores or excluding a sport because their country doesn't compete in it.

Elimination from the Olympics would mean the loss of prestige that comes with competing at the world's largest sports event, as well as considerable funding from the IOC, generated largely from television revenue.

In 2002, Rogge proposed that baseball, softball and modern pentathlon be removed and golf and rugby be added, but IOC members resisted and no vote was taken.

No sport has been cut from the Summer Olympics since polo in 1936.





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