Squash players around the world woke up Monday ,October 16th, 2023 to an new era for our sport when the IOC Assembly voted in favour of squash on the 2028 Olympic Games program in Los Angeles, USA.
The WSF, PSA and US Squash applauded the LA2028 Organizing Committee and the IOC for recognizing the tremendous value squash can bring to the Olympic Games. Squash is now played in over 150 countries, 79 of which are represented by players in the Professional Squash Association (PSA), and there has been a world squash champions from six continents.
WSF President Zena Wooldridge said: “On behalf of the entire global squash community, I would like to express my immense delight at squash’s inclusion in the LA28 Olympic Games. Squash is an amazingly dynamic, diverse and demanding sport that is perfectly suited for the Olympic Games. Everyone involved in our sport is elated to be LA28 bound and we look forward to being part of an unparalleled Olympic Games experience.”
US Squash Chief Executive Kevin Klipstein added: “The inclusion of squash in the LA28 Olympic Games is a significant breakthrough for the sport. Being part of the Olympic Games has been a long-held goal for the squash community, and inclusion will serve as a catalyst to increase awareness of what is already a major participatory sport globally with a long and diverse history. Access to thhe sport and the opportunities it provides will continue to increase for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. We look forward to supporting our Team USA and the squash community in the lead up to – and beyond – the Games.”
PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough said: “Our athletes have worked tirelessly to earn this recognition and we are grateful for the opportunity to see them compete for glory at the LA28 Olympic Games. This inclusion marks a significant milestone in squash’s journey, and I look forward to watching our players inspire the world with their incredible skill and athleticism on the biggest stage of all.”
United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy said: “It’s everything that you can dream of as an athlete to be able to compete in the Olympic Games. To be able to compete for an Olympic gold medal, and just say that you were an Olympian, is something that no one can ever take away from you. To have the chance to compete at LA28 and compete in front of friends and family with a home crowd, it would just be so meaningful.”
Zena Wooldridge with Paraguay’s CAMILO PÉREZ LOPEZ MOREIRA President of the Paraguayan Olympic Committee, President of the South American Sports Organisation (OSESUR) Member of the IOC Coordination Commission for LA2028 and Bisbane 2032
L-R- Nicole Hoevertzs (IOC Member-Aruba) William Louis-Marie (WSF-CEO ) Anita de Frantz (IOC Member-USA) Zena Wooldridge (WSF- President), Tricia Smith (IOC Member- Canada)
Thanks to the massive efforts of US Squash the LA community will get to experience the positive effects and legacy for their youths, who will now have the opportunity to play and compete in our beloved sport.
Some interesting facts about squash include:
Squash players are some of the fittest athletes in the world- https://www.psaworldtour.com/news/fitter-and-faster-than-ever-the-data-highlighting-squash-s-true-physical-demands/
The average heart rate of a pro player is 171 BPM, and the average squash match length is 52 minutes, while ball in play duration averages 63% – far higher than oth-er racket sports such as tennis and badminton. – Pro players are exceptionally talented. In an average match, players can cover over 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) with shots reaching speeds over 241 kmh (150 mph), even in regular play shots can reach up to speeds of 160 kmh (100 mph).
There are over 3 million active squash players plus over 3 million recreational squash players worldwide
The 2022-23 season boasted record prize money, with over $8.9M of player compensation being paid out across the tour.
Squash continues to resonate with fans across social media, with the PSA World Tour amassing 1,000,000 social media followers earlier this year.
Details on the LA28 Olympic Games will be announced later by the LA28 Organising Committee.