It’s been a bit of a whirlwind week.
It was great to be chosen as the flag bearer for the England team at the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games and to lead the team out at Celtic Park last week.
On the second day of the event, I celebrated my 34th birthday and earned my 100th England cap. To complete an emotional week, I won the men’s singles gold medal match with James Willstrop 11-9 8-11 11-5 6-11 11-5 on Monday. It was an incredible feeling to win gold again but I’ve not really had time for it all to sink in as I’ve had to go straight into the men’s doubles!
I couldn’t have got through it without support from my team and I’m sure James will say the same. He is going to have a hip operation in a couple of weeks time so it’s testament to our teams who have worked with us over the last few weeks that we produced a match of that quality in the final. Jade Leeder, Mark Campbell and Derry Suter deserve so much credit for getting me back on court after my minor knee surgery.
I was so exhausted and shattered after the final that I found it hard to appreciate what had happened. It’s a good job the dining hall is open 24/7 in the athletes village. I went in there at about one in the morning and I stuffed my face full of pizza and ice cream! It’s not my normal diet but I just fancied some junk food! I was so hungry and I just tried to get the calories back into my body.
I felt tired but I enjoyed doing the media work, speaking to people like Gary Lineker and another Sheffielder in Dan Walker. Gary sent a great tweet out after the final saying squash has always been a great sport to play and now it’s a great one to watch. I think that summed it up perfectly.
The Commonwealth have been a great advert for squash and raised awareness of the sport. I think the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have reopened talks over squash becoming an Olympic sport which is great news.
Everyone who has watched it this week will have seen there is absolutely no reason whatsoever why it shouldn’t be an Olympic sport. If there was ever any doubt, the two finals on Monday should have closed the door.
I ask the question what more do the IOC want from a sport? They’ve put us through the ringer and we have proven ourselves time and time again. What more do we have to do to become an Olympic sport?