Squash, an eternal but always unsuccessful favourite, won its place at the Games. finally. Enter through a side door under Additional Sports. Before, perhaps, he invites himself permanently.
He will be discovered for the Olympic universe at the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics, a less convenient version of his entry into the venue than it would have been at Sydney 2000, London 2012 or Paris 2024. The Californians have chosen him as the only one. The discipline, among a quartet of team sports consisting of football, cricket, lacrosse, and baseball/softball.
William Louis-Marie, Director General of the International Squash Federation (World Squash), answered questions com. FranksGames.
FrancsJeux: How do we explain the selection of squash, the only individual sport among the additional sports at the Los Angeles 2028 Games?
William Lewis Mary : Squash and its entire community – players and officials – have been waiting for this moment for a very long time. We must thank the International Olympic Committee and the Los Angeles 2028 Organizing Committee for their confidence in us. We worked with them for a year and a half in a very collaborative way. Why squash? Offering something different that aligns with their innovation values and leaves a legacy. Our sport today represents true diversity. One of the biggest tournaments in the world has just been won by a New Zealander in the men’s draw and an Egyptian in the women’s draw. We are located on five continents.
Squash is not her first attempt to join the Olympic program. Why did you succeed now in Los Angeles 2028, where your arrival was not clear?
Maybe because it wasn’t easy, we played our luck. But things are changing. For 5 or 6 years, squash has been evolving. The professional circuit brings in the best players from all over the world. The quality of images and TV broadcasts continues to improve. Squash also has the ability to reach more and more people on social networks. We recently saw him at the World Junior Championships. Maybe because we were not expected to be able to work calmly with the 2028 World Cup Organizing Committee and with the International Olympic Committee, showing all the qualities of our sport.
What message did you try to send to US regulators?
We tried to understand what they expected from a new sport, which has not yet participated in the Games, but which has long been present in the Olympic movement and in a large number of multi-sport events, such as the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Pan American Games. We have demonstrated our experience and knowledge of these multiple sporting events. We have also insisted that we can bring in the best players in the world, thanks to our cooperation with the Professional Association (PSA). The LA 2028 folks came to see us at the last Commonwealth Games, last year in Birmingham (pictured above). They saw the extraordinary spectacle of two players competing in a glass cage for 30 minutes or an hour. Los Angeles is the capitalentertainment, the squash scene aligns well with their values. We’ve also focused a lot with the US federation – USA Squash – on how we can leverage the Games to bring squash into communities.
What will change for you? This entry into the Olympic program?
Many things. Today’s athletes know that they will have the opportunity to take their place on the most beautiful sports platform in the world. It’s a great motivation. National Federations will be able to better negotiate with their National Olympic Committee to obtain funding for coaches and officials programmes. For our part, we will have additional resources, working with sponsors, to further improve the production of our events.
Where is the place for squash in La 2028?
We don’t have all the details yet, but we have ideas for an indoor theatre, where squash could be beautifully displayed on a glass court, with an exceptional number of cameras.
For Brisbane 2032, the terrain looks more favourable…
Australia has a real history with squash. It has had great champions, world gold medalists. We were there recently for the World Junior Championships. Our presence at Los Angeles 2028 will give us strength to discuss with Brisbane 2032. But we must move forward slowly. We’ll be working on Los Angeles 2028, without trying to skip ahead. England is also a great country for squash, but we were not selected for the London 2012 Olympics.
“Proud explorer. Freelance social media expert. Problem solver. Gamer. Extreme travel aficionado.”