As the 2020–21 Squash World Championships get underway today, I’m struck by the absence of the sport on the Olympic program. One wonders what sin squash must have committed to result not being included ever.
It’s not like the sport hasn’t recently tried. The World Squash Federation (WSF)’s bids for inclusion were unsuccessful for the Games in 2012, 2016, 2020, and now 2024. It certainly is a head-scratcher, as there are so many boxes checked for what fits as an Olympic sport.
So, here’s my pitch:
Cuba has a storied history of success in the Olympic Games. Since its Games debut at Paris 1900, its much-vaunted boxers have won 73 medals (second only to the United States), and its fabled baseball program has won three of five golds (and won silver the other two times). Outside of those two signature sports, Cuba has made its mark in other sports, notably track & field, judo, wrestling, and even fencing. The women’s volleyball team won three straight golds between 1992 and 2000, with a bronze in 2004.
At Barcelona 1992, Cuba hit its high point in the medal…
It’s usually right around this time — about two months before the start of an Olympic Games — when I’d really get my Olympic fandom into overdrive with the purchase of the latest edition of The Complete Book of the Olympics or The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics.
As described in the inside cover of the London 2012 preview edition, these “encyclopedic” books had “anything anyone could ever need or want to know about the modern Olympic Games”. And, boy, did they. Pages and pages — that 2012 edition came in at 1334 pages — of results, scores, and…
Some elite professional athletes and their leagues dismiss the Olympics.
The Major League Baseball season gets underway tomorrow, and its top stars are likely embracing the return to playing. In an alternate universe, though, they’d also be excited this year at the opportunity to showcase their sport and represent their home nations at the Olympic Games this summer.
In reality, the vast majority of MLB players will not be in Tokyo. While its “second-tier” players could be available, MLB’s elite players will not. And from Barcelona 1992 through Beijing 2008, the last Olympic stretch for baseball before its Tokyo return…
2032’s Olympic Summer Games appear set with Brisbane as a host, but there is no word yet on 2030’s Winter Games.
At the International Olympic Committee’s virtual IOC Session last week, the IOC supported the Future Host Commission’s recommendations for a ‘new approach’ in awarding Olympic Games to a targeted host site. Particularly eyeing the 2032 Games, the IOC has now confirmed ‘continuous’ and ‘targeted’ dialogue with Brisbane and the southeast Queensland region in Australia for their candidacy.
This is certainly reinforcing a new way to award the Games site. Previously, Games were awarded to a candidate after reviewing and…
The Olympic Games used to have a better way to introduce new events…demonstration sports.
A number of sports will debut as Olympic sports across Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024, a few strikingly more unconventional than those we are used to seeing at the Summer Games. While some newer sports have integrated well into the program in recent editions, the rapid change brings to question, why are sports not “demonstrated” first?
A Long History of Demonstration
A look at past boycott efforts in light of next year’s Winter Games in Beijing
As the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing approach, scrutiny on China as a host is back in focus. Its on-going record of human rights abuses — most recently, between the treatment of its Muslim minority to the subjugation of Hong Kong — is depressing. And, it’s a legitimate question on whether such a regime should be showcased as host of a “sportswashing” event like the Olympics.
That’s it, that’s my ultimate reaction to Peacock’s “In Deep with Ryan Lochte”, an hour-long documentary from this summer that posits Lochte as a matured, family-man looking for redemption through another Olympic swimming appearance at Tokyo 2020.
Honestly, unless you’re a bonafide fan of Lochte’s, skip the documentary and just read Inkoo Kang’s spot-on review for The Hollywood Reporter instead. It’ll save you the aggravation of revisiting him and his antics.
But I did watch it. And, I got aggravated again. Lochte has again become a source of Olympic chagrin for me as a fan.
At age 20, Ryan…
A recent execution brings broader awareness to Iran’s politicization of sports.
Despite global outcry, Navid Afkari has been executed. A national-level wrestler in Iran, his case drew attention from the sporting community, including athletes, the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C.), Global Athlete, the World Players Association, and even the MMA, and beyond, as the murky circumstances of his trial and sentencing have all the earmarks of a sham trial and punishment-as-an-example.
Unfortunately, the world’s sports leaders’ opinions didn’t matter much. Accused of the murder of a security guard during protests against the government, Afkari’s alleged crime was not directly connected to…
In January 2008, World Athletics (then known as the International Amateur Athletic Federation, or IAAF) ruled that double-leg amputee Oscar Pistorius was ineligible for able-bodied competition. This, based on research they conducted on his “cheetah” blades of prosthesis, determining an unfair advantage over able-bodied competitors. Pistorius subsequently went to appeal, and emerged victorious two months later at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). This court ruled that Pistorius’ blades did not give him an advantage, or at least that the IAAF did not prove that they did, based on further independent research. …