#Vote4Squash campaign goes viral worldwide

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While everyone you’ve ever met is upset about wrestling being ousted from the 2020 Olympics Schedule, and the sport’s governing body is going through the painstaking process of attempting to get it reinstated through two IOC votes, squash is the little engine that’s making a strong argument to take wrestling’s spot in the Games.

The World Squash Federation already released its bid video starring world champs Nicol David and Ramy Ashour explaining why squash deserves its chance in the Olympics, and now it’s hoping to continue the worldwide viral campaign on Twitter with the #Vote4Squash hashtag.

“The next few months are crucial to our bid and using social media to demonstrate the huge passion there is for Squash to become part of the Olympic Games is important as we head towards our presentation to the IOC Executive Board in May,” WSF President N. Ramachandran told Around the Rings.

The hashtag has been trending in nations where the sport is popular, like Malaysia, the UK, and Egypt, and tennis star and Olympian Roger Federer is showing his support for his brothers and sister of the racquet by holding up a “Back the Bid” sign on which he’s written, “I am, are you?”

“This is a great initiative and there is a real buzz among all the players competing on the Tours about our Olympic bid,” current world No. 2 Nick Matthew added. “We want to demonstrate to the IOC the global popularity and reach of Squash and I’m sure this online call to action will help to do this.”

Squash will face off against wrestling, karate, wushu, sport climbing, roller sports, and baseball/softball in an IOC executive board vote this may in St. Petersburgh to determine which sports will be brought to a final vote when all the IOC members are on hand for a meeting this September in Buenos Aires.

We dare you not to enjoy this video:

U.S. senators speak up as women’s hockey worlds near with no resolution

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Sixteen U.S. senators wrote a letter to USA Hockey’s executive director Monday over their concerns about the treatment of the women’s national team.

Players have threatened to boycott the upcoming world championships over a wage dispute. The senators, all Democrats, urged David Ogrean to resolve the matter and ensure the team receives “equitable resources.” They cited the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act.

USA Hockey’s board of directors meets Monday, and players said Sunday night they hope there’s a deal.

The senators, all Democrats, joined a chorus of support that includes unions representing players from the NHL, NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball. Those organizations said over the weekend they stood with the women’s team and criticized USA Hockey for attempting to find replacement players.

Prominent NHL agent Allan Walsh tweeted Sunday, “Word circulating among NHL players that American players will refuse to play in men’s World Championships in solidarity with the women.”

Zach Bogosian, an American-born Buffalo Sabres defenseman, went to high school with U.S. captain Meghan Duggan. He tweeted his support and said he hopes the dispute is resolved.

The U.S. is the defending champion at the International Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship, which begins Friday in Plymouth, Michigan.

In negotiations over the past 15 months, players have asked for a four-year contract that pays them outside the six-month Olympic period. The senators’ letter notes the $6,000 that players earn around the Olympics and USA Hockey’s $3.5 million annual spending on the men’s national team development program and other discrepancies.

“These elite athletes indeed deserve fairness and respect, and we hope you will be a leader on this issue as women continue to push for equality in athletics,” the senators wrote.

In a statement Sunday night, players said they hoped USA Hockey would approve terms discussed during a meeting last week. They said the agreement has the “potential to be a game changer for everyone.”

The letter was signed by: Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Patty Murray of Washington, Dianne Feinstein of California, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Thomas Carper of Delaware, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Robert Menendez and Cory Booker of New Jersey, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

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Ugandan Olympian’s body shuts down at World Cross-Country Champs (video)

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Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei went from leading the race to finishing 30th in the final kilometer at the World Cross-Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda, on Sunday.

Cheptegei, a 20-year-old Olympian, saw his body shut down in the last four minutes of his race.

His stride shortened. His pace slowed. Cheptegei appeared on the verge of falling. At one point, a teammate deliberately pushed him from behind to keep going.

Cheptegei led by 12 seconds going into the final two-kilometer lap. He would finish 1 minute, 44 seconds behind Kenyan winner Geoffrey Kamworor, with 28 other runners separating them after the 10km race that took about a half-hour.

Cheptegei’s body movement looked similar to that of British triathlete Jonny Brownlee, who had to be helped to the finish line by brother Alistair Brownlee at the World Triathlon Series Grand Final in Cozumel, Mexico, in September.

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