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"Around the Rings had reported comments from a high-ranking IOC member Friday night that the Executive Board would meet to consider whether there was any way to re-consider the sports rejected on Friday. "An IOC official says no such meeting will be called by President Jacques Rogge."

But Rogge offered hope for 2016, suggesting that new sports should "be treated the same way in terms of the number of votes needed."
In the Papers

what the press have to say ...

"It is very disappointing. We thought we had a great chance. It is a missed opportunity. I am not just talking about squash. I think the public wants to see a couple of other sports at the Olympics.

"The Olympics would have been massive for us in terms of exposure and media attention. It would have meant so much.

"The Olympics would have been the biggest thing in squash. When the top guys from a sport don't go to the Olympics, then it shouldn't be there – how much does the Olympics mean to the top footballers? I think that it is wrong for a sport to have Olympic status if the Olympics isn't its biggest event.

"They are keeping a lot of sports that I believe the majority of the public doesn't want to see as Olympics sports. It angers me a bit."

     World #2
to the Yorkshire Post
In the heat of the moment, three thoughts come to mind:

1. For the last 10 years at least, France has always systematically insisted on the importance of the Olympic movement for squash. Progressively, our message got stronger, and this year, the world of squash got involved as it never had before, it had never used so many means, it never showed so much enthusiasm.

2. In France, the Federation had developed all the actions it could. On the 17th June 2005, we sent a final comprehensive file to the French Members of the IOC.

It has to be said that the French results, by both individuals and teams, were crucial in the support and in the reception that our efforts received. We want to thank the CNOSF for coming back to us every time they needed more information to support our sport.

3. Since 1996, in every International Meeting, our leit motiv has been the Olympics. In its first global mobilisation for the Olympics, Squash failed by very little. We can only regret that our mobilisation didn’t start earlier, for the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Games.

President FF Squash
“I’m really proud of our team, including our athletes and our member nations, who have pulled together magnificently in this whole process. The fact that we ultimately failed – so narrowly, and after two sports were removed from the programme – is devastating, but people have undoubtedly recognised that our sport deserves this opportunity.”

Susie Simcock   WSF
“Jahangir has admirably led his team and Christian Leighton has worked flat out since his recent appointment. Let us not forget all the members of the WSF Management Committee who have pursued the cause - as well as the unstinting efforts of Susie Simcock, Ted Wallbutton and Lorraine Harding, all of whom deserve our gratitude along with many other federation members.

“Squash has never come so close. Next time we really must succeed.

Gawain Briars   PSA
“We are a truly international sport which has deserved a place. The battle has been lost but I am sure that we will win the Olympic fight in the end.

“Our athletes would have been proud to be part of the Games, and while it hasn’t happened yet, it must surely be only a matter of time before we earn the right to take part.”

“This is enormously disappointing news. We have always believed – and continue to do so - that squash can make a real contribution to the Olympic movement and are puzzled by the decision not to bring the number of sports back up to 28.

“The London bid and squash was a dream ticket for us – but we will continue to work with the WSF to achieve our goal.

“Our hearty congratulations go to the London 2012 team – yesterday’s terrible events in the capital put things into perspective, but we all know that sport plays an important part in bringing people together. London will put on a great show in 2012 and we support them wholeheartedly.”

  England Squash
"As a player, one never gives up. We'll try again for 2016. We'll get in one day.

"Obviously, I'd have liked to see my game there. But we'll never give up."

 from the forum

What a shambles.

They organise a vote to see which sports stay on the program for 2012, but somehow the losers remain "Olympic Sports".

Then they vote for new sports to be added to the 2012 program, and accept two to replace the ones they dropped.

But - oops - the new ones aren't "Olympic Sports" yet so we'd better vote on that.

No, sorry, you can't be "Olympic Sports", even though we wanted you on the program for 2012.

It makes the Eurovision Song Contest voting look good!

Serves them right if they end up with synchronised belly-flop or the egg and spoon race to make up the numbers.

Based on Howard Harding's WSF release

After being voted onto the programme of the 2012 Olympic Games by achieving more than 50% of the IOC members’ votes, Squash suffered a cruel blow today in Singapore when the IOC decided against replacing the two sports dropped earlier in the day from the London Games programme.

But World Squash Federation Chief Executive Christian Leighton believes that the positive responses received by Squash in Singapore will ultimately lead to realisation of the sport’s Olympic dream: “We were so very, very, close – but I have no doubt that we will get into the Olympic Games in the near future, and that will continue to be our main drive.”

Earlier in the day, IOC members voted softball and baseball off the 2012 programme, leaving room for two successors to be chosen from squash, rugby sevens, rollers sports, karate and golf – sports which had been short-listed for consideration in an IOC announcement last September.

With more than 50% of the votes in the first poll amongst IOC members, Squash was immediately added to the 2012 programme – later joined by karate.

However, when the vote came for each sport to be “recognised as an Olympic sport” neither achieved the required two thirds majority. IOC President Jacques Rogge had wanted this final vote to be a simple 'show of hands', but the IOC delegates insisted on a further round of secret voting.

So squash's long-held dream of Olympic recognition was dashed once more.

Squash’s Olympic campaign in Singapore has been led by WSF President Jahangir Khan, the record ten-times British Open champion who earlier conceded that an Olympic breakthrough would rank as his proudest achievement in the sport.

Khan was joined in the final days of campaigning by Malaysia’s Asian champion and world No3 Nicol David, together with Christian Leighton and the Federation's Emeritus President Susie Simcock.

Thus, disappointingly, the racket sport which has its origins in both Fleet Prison and Harrow School in London in the 1800s will not make the hoped-for triumphant ‘return’ to the British capital two centuries later.

“The whole squash community has done the sport proud, and I am particularly grateful to the contribution made by all the WSF member national federations, who provided highly-effective face-to-face lobbying in many cases.

“We are also indebted to the efforts made by our leading athletes, particularly Nicol David who has taken time out from her preparations for next week’s World Games to be with us here in Singapore.

“This is a continuing process and, whilst there will be widespread disappointment within the squash community around the world today, we must work on all the positive aspects on what has been achieved over the past few years and continue to gain more support from IOC members in the future.

“We were so very, very, close – but I have no doubt that we will get into the Olympic Games in the near future, and that will continue to be our main drive.”



I’m sorry to say that this week will stay in my mind as one of the darkest in my life…

So, yes, it started when Paris lost its bid for the Olympic Games. I truly thought that Paris deserved to win. Then, there was my aborted surgery, and for the most horrible of reasons, to give “my” bed to somebody who survived the horror of a terror attack in the city where I’ve now been living for 12 years.

And today, the cherry on the cake…

We oh so hoped after baseball and softball were dropped… And then there was the first vote, we were in, boys, we were in…

Until we were out…

So, yes, today’s event is of such a small importance in the scale of things, compared to what happened yesterday, it’s only sport, no life has been lost, no blood was shed…

But I cannot help thinking about all those people, like Ted Wallbutton and so many others, who for years and years worked patiently, relentlessly, to raise Squash’s profile in the eyes of the IOC members, to try and offer squash players the recognition they deserve, the honour and the indescribable joy of standing on the Olympic podium, and to listen to their national anthem, hand on heart and tears in eyes…

And we got so close.

So, pardon me to repeat myself: what a bloody week…


"Squash has come from nowhere in Olympic terms to become the first placed sport outside of the programme.

"It is an amazing achievement and far from failing we should be proud that we won the race, but failed to collect the prize."



  • Dumped Olympic sports may return  AAP
    The five sports denied a chance to feature in London's 2012 Olympics were offered a glimmer of hope for inclusion in future Games on Saturday ...
  • Is squash really a better bet than softball?
    Napa Valley Register The choices are golf (snore), rugby (I might watch), squash (what?), karate (wax on, wax off), and roller sports -- summer's version of the triple axle ...
  • Plans for new sports left in tatters  AFP
    President Jacques Rogge's dreams of bringing new sports into the Olympics has been left in tatters here ...
  • New sports on Games outer the Australian
    AN apparent Arab-led movement to ditch the American sports of baseball and softball from the Olympic program last night triggered a bizarre counter-protest that made a farce of the process of finding two sports to replace them ...
  • Farcical day in Singapore  Reuters
    In a farcical display of bureaucracy, IOC members went through seven rounds of voting to decide which two of the five would-be Olympic sports should be put up for a vote to give them Olympic status. Having selected squash and karate, the members then overwhelmingly rejected their bids to join the Olympic program ...
  • Squash, karate miss out  Sports Illustrated
    For 22 minutes, Jahangir Khan and Antonio Espinos were elated. Squash and karate seemed certain additions to the 2012 Olympic Games ...
  • Second Chance For New Olympics Sports
    (ATR) Around the Rings has learned the IOC may be asked a second time to consider adding new sports to the 2012 Olympics before the Singapore Session adjourns on Saturday. The IOC rejected adding sports in a confusing series of votes Friday. 
    Sadly this report briefly raised false hopes ...
From the IOC:
26 Sports In The 2012 Olympic Programme

This morning, the IOC Session reviewed the Olympic Programme. A vote was carried out sport by sport according to the order that the sports appear in rule 46 of the Olympic Charter, with members voting to decide which sport should be included in the Olympic Programme for 2012. IOC members chose to include 26 sports on the programme for London 2012, with Baseball and Softball not being selected for 2012.

The IOC website now makes no mention of the evening votes.




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