World Squash Federation (WSF) President N Ramachandran and men’s world number one James Willstrop will lead this week’s delegation to the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne where the sport will present its bid to join the programme for the 2020 Olympic Games.
After unsuccessful attempts to be selected for both the 2012 and 2016 Games, Squash has consolidated a variety of initiatives which the WSF will present to the IOC Programme Commission on Wednesday.
The presentation follows the IOC ‘inspection’ visit to Hong Kong earlier this month where the final stages of the 27th edition of the Hong Kong Open were staged in spectacular style on an all-glass showcourt sited at the Cultural Centre Piazza overlooking the waterfront at Tsim Sha Tsui.
“This is an important milestone for Squash’s ambition to join the Olympic Games Sports Programme,” said President Ramachandran. “The presentation team is looking forward to demonstrating to the IOC Programme Commission how we have listened and learnt since our last bid, the innovations that have been introduced into Squash over the last few seasons, and what Squash can bring to the Olympic Movement if we are successful in our campaign.”
Ramachandran and Willstrop will be joined in the presentation party by WSF CEO Andrew Shelley and Mexican Reyna Pacheco.
Tijuana-born 18-year-old Pacheco, now a freshman at Columbia University, arrived in the US as an illegal immigrant, aged four. Her troubled life was ‘totally transformed’ when she discovered squash at an urban initiative in San Diego, where she rapidly became the best junior in the programme.