Has it sunk in yet ? Here’s some thoughts from some of the players who could be competing for Olympic medals in Los Angeles five years from now … Quotes courtesy PSA
“I think it’s a bit of disbelief to be honest. When you’ve been working so hard for so many years to try and get into every Olympic Games and to only be rejected, the fact that we finally made the five sports recommended for LA in 2028, it was a shock.
“You almost can’t believe it, but the fact that it is happening is a dream come true.
“I think it means I am going to prolong retirement a little bit more because it is everything that you can dream of as an athlete. To be able to compete in the Olympics, be able to compete for Olympic gold medal, and to be able to say you were an Olympian, that is something that no one can ever take away from you.
“It would be so exciting to play in LA. I’d love competing in front of friends and family with a home crowd and it would just be so meaningful, especially because that would probably be one of the last events in my career.
“And to be able to say that I finish off my career with the Olympics is really just like a dream come true. Also the fact that the U.S. players are doing really well, it helps with LA28. I hope it will increase the exposure for the sport in America. I hope it gets the marketing it deserves, gets the recognition it deserves, and the money it deserves.”
Nour El Sherbini
“Winning an Olympic medal, it’s everything. What I have done for my whole career just to win one Olympic medal, yes, I agree with Nicol.[Nicol David said that she’d happily trade her eight World titles for one Olympic Gold]
“It’s a dream actually. I am super excited, super happy and I have already started counting the years so I can see how long I have and if I will still be there or not, but I will definitely try to make sure that I am still playing.
“I wasn’t expecting to stay that long, I’ll be 32, but now I will definitely try and make sure that I am still playing and still fit.
“It would mean the world to me. It’s the biggest stage for any athlete and it was always a dream to play in the Olympics.
“We tried a lot of times to get in and failed but now we have finally made it and it will mean everything for me. It would definitely be the last Olympics that I would ever play, so it would be the best ending for my career I think.
“I think it will definitely get more people interested in watching squash. Getting into the Olympics will get more people learning about the rules of squash, interested in the players and the tournaments and I think squash is growing all over the world and it is time to get it in the Olympics to get it even bigger.”
“When I was younger I was quite a competitive runner and my dream was to be an Olympian. My bedsheets and my curtains in my room were the Olympic rings, like I genuinely grew up with that being a massive dream of mine, and when I gave up running I thought I also gave up that dream.
“At the Commonwealth Games I won the women’s singles, which is similar to a PSA event when you are playing in the women’s singles, but you are also there as a team, and a wider team England, and for the Olympics it is going to be for team Great Britain.
“You constantly feel like you have the full support of the team around, whereas on the PSA you can travel to different countries on your own and you sometimes don’t have people in your corner supporting you, so it’s completely different.
“It was the best two weeks of my life, no doubt.
“The Olympics is a place for athletes from every sport to showcase their talent and squash also deserves that opportunity, so I just think we need to show the world what an amazing sport it is, so we can finally get that exposure that we deserve.”
Nouran Gohar was bursting to share the information for the past year… She can now reveal she was chosen to represent the players for the presentation.