IOC officials are at the Hong Kong Open this week to determine whether or not squash is worthy of the one available spot open on the Olympics competition schedule in 2020.
The sport is going up again heavy hitters like baseball and softball – both voted out of the Games in 2005 – as well as karate, wushu, roller sports, wakeboarding and sport climbing, but world No. 1 Nicol David thinks that the dusty country club stigma against squash is outdated, and believes the sport has been modernized for the Olympic audience.
“We have become more fan-friendly,” David told Reuters. “In the past squash was regarded as a bit too sterile where you couldn’t cheer. But now if there is a great shot and the fans cheer, the rally will continue. The players won’t stop playing, we have to move with the times and we have adapted.
“This is partly due to the fact that the game is now being taken to the fans. We are playing in shopping malls and in outdoor courts in exotic locations like the Hong Kong harbor or Grand Central Station in New York.”
World Squash Federation President Rami Ramachandrans explained last month that squash has added glass surrounded courts, lighting, music, and video review to make the sport cooler and more spectator friendly.
“Courts can be placed in amazing iconic locations – in front of pyramids, harbor side, in museums or anywhere else to really bring a host city to life,” Ramachandrans said of the opportunities to display squash at the 2020 Olympics. ”It would also create a real squash sporting legacy for that host city.”
The IOC won’t decide which sport is added until a meeting in Argentina next September, but the baseball and softball federations have joined forces in their bid and have already met with IOC officials.
Michael Phelps said Thursday that he had to keep his June marriage to Nicole Johnson “hush-hush.”
Phelps and Johnson, who got engaged in February 2015, were married June 13, though Phelps had been saying all summer and into the fall that they were not yet married.
“You guys probably already saw the article that was posted [about the marriage],” Phelps said, widening his eyes and sticking the tip of his tongue out while golfing shirtless with former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. “I’ve been married for a while, been married for while, couple months. I had to keep it secret from y’all. I had to keep it hush-hush from you guys. Nicole and I are married. We are officially married.”
Phelps and Johnson welcomed baby boy Boomer on May 5.
“Why is it a secret? Just because. … Baby No. 2 may be coming soon, who knows though,” Phelps said.
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former gymnast on the U.S. women’s national team is the latest athlete to accuse a longtime team doctor of sexual abuse.
But she’s the first to allege renowned husband-and-wife coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi knew about the abuse and did nothing to stop it.
The lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles contends Dr. Larry Nassar repeatedly sexually abused the now-24-year-old gymnast when she was on the team from 2006 to 2011.
It says the Karolyis, and the current and former presidents of USA Gymnastics knew of molestations committed by Nassar before and during his employment, “yet chose to allow him to remain unsupervised,” allowing further abuse.
Nassar’s lawyer and the Karolyis didn’t respond to messages Thursday. Nassar’s lawyer has previously denied abuse allegations by two other gymnasts.
USA Gymnastics is also named in the suit. The Indiana-based governing body denies wrongdoing.
MORE: Michigan State fires Nassar after sexual abuse accusations