World Squash Federation (WSF) President Jacques Fontaine has told Inside the Games that he is ‘reasonably confident’ that squash’s bid for inclusion in the 2024 Olympic Games will end in success.
This week, squash has appeared in the 2017 World Games – the quadrennial multi-sport event for non-Olympic sports and disciplines which is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) – in the Polish city of Wrocław.
Squash has previously missed out on Olympic inclusion in 2012 and 2016, while baseball and softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing were added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by the IOC ahead of squash last August.
However, Fontaine – who serves on the board of the French National Olympic Committee – is positive about the sport’s Olympic future, telling Inside the Games: “I honestly think squash deserves to be an Olympic sport.
“We have failed several times but the feeling within the squash family is that it is something we deserve.
“Now we just have to acknowledge that the past is the past and concentrate on the new bid we are preparing which, I hope, will bring a better result.
“I was elected on a programme which included a new bid for the Olympics and to build close relationships with the professional sector of our sport.
“I must say I am reasonably confident because we have made such big progress.”
The 2024 Olympic Games will be held in either Paris or Los Angeles, with the host set to be announced at the 130th IOC session in Peru on September 13.
Women’s World No.3 Camille Serme has taken an active role in promoting Paris’ Olympic Bid and she sat down with SQUASHTV recently to discuss the bid.
“I have heard it could be a big boost for squash if Paris get the Olympic Games in 2024,” she said.
“We’re not sure about anything yet though. I really hope squash will make it and we’re going to do everything we can.
“I’m trying to be quite involved with the bid, the French Olympic Committee asked me to do a few things for French TV with other famous French athletes and the World Squash Federation asked me to represent squash as well.”
Squash will feature on an Olympic programme for the first time next year when it appears as a showcase sport for the Buenos Aires 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games between October 6-18.
Following on from the IOC’s 'Sports Lab' concept, which was launched at Nanjing 2014 and saw skateboarding and sport climbing feature – sports which have since been added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games programme – the inclusion of squash in Buenos Aires 2018 could have a huge impact on squash’s aspirations to join the Summer Olympic Games roster.