Squash Showcase at Youth Olympic Games Recap

2018-10-22

OTTAWA, ON, October 10, 2018 – History was made at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games held October 6-18 in Buenos Aires, Argentina when squash debuted as a “showcase sport”.  The opportunity to be part of the Olympic platform in any manner was a colossal step forward to potential future inclusion as a full medal sport.  Squash Canada was represented by our #1 Junior Men’s player James Flynn and current President Steve Wren, who was the Canadian squash team leader.

“We are part of something much much bigger than first anticipated” said Wren.  “Squash is getting noticed in this Youth Olympic Games.  IOC delegates are floating around, and we have the presence of the WSF’s President, Mr. Jacques Fontaine, along with various other PSA and FPS dignitaries.  Compared to the other sports we’ve seen here at the Youth Olympic Games, squash, as we all believe, can also fit this sporting model perfectly.”

Wren wrote in a wrap-up report to Squash Canada that “Each day our singular Canadian athlete, James Flynn, has participated in the squash action that’s conducted in a round robin fashion.  Strict guidelines directed by the IOC for demonstration sports such as squash, are in play for all of the 38 squash athletes here.  Which is why I report back no results…results are not the desired outcome for a sport on demonstration.  The action on the squash court during a schedule of play that runs from 10am to 8pm each day, is purely for exhibition purposes, and with that comes a distinctly fun element to the player match-ups.” 

It is important to acknowledge the efforts of the World Squash Federation (WSF) and its Member Nations, who contributed to this unique “showcase” opportunity.

But more importantly, to the 38 athletes that were tasked with promoting squash not as a representative of their country but rather as a Youth Squash Ambassador.  All came together with one common goal to enhance the image of squash as the bid continues for inclusion into the Olympic program. 

If nothing else, the legacy of the event will be the hundreds if not thousands of people (many school aged children) that came to watch squash.  It may never be known how much of a role this event will have in squash’s bid for Olympic inclusion but if squash is successful in the future then we can certainly all agree this had an indelible impact.

"It was a really amazing opportunity to get to represent the sport that I love on an Olympic stage in Argentina" said Flynn. "Hopefully this can serve as a stepping stone for squash to be admitted into the Olympics in 2024!"

 

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