Olympic dreams: Six unlikely sports vying to make it to the Games

  • Olympic dreams: Six unlikely sports vying to make it to the Games

    This November 26, 2006 file photo shows Nicol David of Malaysia (left) lunging for the ball as Natalie Grinham of Australia looks on during the women's final at the World Squash Championship at the Ulster Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Six-time world squash champion David has owned women's squash for years and would be a safe bet to bring home Malaysia's first Olympic gold if she could compete in the coming London Games. PETER MUHLY/AFP/GettyImages


    Quick: What sport was deemed "the healthiest" in a 2007 Forbes survey? It must be running. Nope, that time-honored pursuit of fitness finished eighth. How about swimming? That ranked No. 4. Cycling? A distant seventh place.

    None other than squash was rated the healthiest sport on the planet, based on criteria ranging from cardiorespiratory endurance to muscular strength. Squash has made quite a racket to get into the Games - but to no avail.

    The fast-paced, goggle-wearing sport just missed out on the 2012 London Games and had hoped to qualify for the 2016 Games but ultimately lost out to golf and rugby sevens.

    Still, the crusade to get squash into the Olympics continues. As if being the healthiest sport wasn't enough, squash advocates have outlined other reasons. According to squash2016.info, the sport has some compelling arguments: it's played worldwide (175 countries), it's low-cost (a portable game requiring minimal space) and "it's the only sport which can boast world champions - men and women - from all five IOC-recognized continents."

    Pretty convincing credentials. The sport has even unleashed a slick video outlining the sports' Olympic qualifications. As the narrator declares at the end of the seven-minute plea: "The time is right. And squash is ready."

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com