Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Squash Loses 2020 Olympic Bid

The Sunday results from Buenos Aires, Argentina had come in. The International Olympic Committee members had cast their secret ballots. Wrestling drew 49 votes, baseball-softball, 24, and squash, 22, after representatives of each made one final, 20-minute sales pitch about how their sport could strengthen the 21st century Olympic brand.

Sure, the squash bid was a concerted effort, based on strong arguments that squash is the only sport on the ballot that would be new to the Olympics, that it is played in every corner of the world, that it has made huge improvements as a spectacle and brings its own pop-up venue with it. All compelling stuff, but as expected, it was not to be.

Wrestling and the Olympics go way back. One thousand years. It has been featured in the ancient Olympics and in every modern Games except 1900. The sport is synonymous with the Olympics! Period!

World Squash Federation (WSF) president N Ramachandran admitted that he was grief-stricken that squash didn’t make it. He said: "This decision is heart-breaking for the millions of squash players around the world, particularly given the 10-year journey we have been on to join the Olympic Games Sports Program.

Methinks, squash does offer something for the future but the decision-makers have yet to be convinced to embrace this sport.

SUBS student, Tan Li Jean invited me to be the emcee for a Sunway University event on Monday that kicked off an exciting initiative that offers interesting possibilities. Team MyUniBus started a social entrepreneurship project which involves the development of a bus tracking website, and in this case, the Sunway Integrated City Free Shuttle Bus Service. It is a pilot program developed by a team of five students (two of whom are Sunway University students, i.e. Tan and team leader Adam Malik and the other three who are from UKM, UiTM and SEGI University) together with Dr Lau Sian Lun from Sunway University’s Department of Computer Science and Networked System. 


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