Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What To Do on the Eve of the Decision?

The IOC decision will be made on Sunday, September 8. 

Squash remains the underdog, with wrestling being the betting-man's choice for re-inclusion. I think squash will come in second place, with soft/hardball not having any chance whatsover. However, no one knows how the IOC will vote. Although soft/hardball has a lot arguing against it, there is a lot of advertising money backing up the sport, so the sport may be brought back into the Olympic fold in a cynical grab for ad revenue. Wrestling has done some work making their sport better, but have they really done enough? And would it make the IOC look silly to throw them out and then readmit them in the space of just a few months?

We in squash know how appropriate the sport would be to the Olympic ideals, but who says those ideals are governing the Olympics anymore?  And yet, who knows, the bid process may have changed the opinions of just enough of the voting IOC members that the sport may possibly squeak through. It is possible, and on that hope I choose to remain optimistic. 

As it so happens, on the very eve of this momentous decision a great squash event will take place. On September 7 John Nimick's Squash Engine, the group that is responsible for the wonderful Tournament of Champions in NYC, will put on their 4th "Showdown at Symphony," at Boston's Symphony Hall. Details about the event are here.  The "Showdown" pits two top Egyptians against two top Brits: Amr Shabana and Mohamed Elshorbagy, versus James Wilstrop and Nick Matthew. 

In this one-night playoff, matches are to 2 games, with a 1- or 3-point tiebreaker played if the games are knotted at 1-all. It is a fun night, but the fact that the next day will be such an important one in the world of squash will make the atmosphere positively electric. Definitely worth attending if at all possible....

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