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  • Nicol David Wins World Games Greatest Athlete of All-Time Award


    In a year that has not given sports fans much to be optimistic about, the International World Games Association decided that there was no better time to determine the greatest World Games athlete of all-time than right now. The IWGA wanted to conduct the vote at the beginning of 2021 to mark the 40th anniversary of the creation of the World Games in 1981. 


    On January 8th the IWGA launched the fan centered competition by posting profiles of 24 athletes nominated by their international federation. The list was cut cut down to athletes in the top 10 of voting on January 20th, and 1.2 million votes later, Nicol David, a squash athlete from Malaysia was declared the victor.


    David, 37, the former women's world number 1 - a title she held for almost a decade until September of 2015, won the competition with 318,120 vites. During her time David appeared in four editions of the World Games, capturing gold in 2005 (Duisburg), 2009 (Kaohisung), and 2013 (Cali). In 2017 (Wroclaw), David was upset by rival Joey Chan of Hong Kong in the semi-final, but was able to rebound and defeat Fiona Moverley of Great Britain in the bronze medal match. 


    David faced stiff competition from other World Games greats throughout the voting. Finishing in second place was James Kehoe, a tug-of-war athlete from Ireland. Kehoe competed in NINE editions of the World Games from 1981 to 2013, winning nine medals in total. Rounding out the podium was Larysa Soloviova, a Ukrainian powerlifter who has won four consecutive World Games gold medals in powerlifting.   


    David also competed in other multi-sport games including both the Commonwealth (2 golds, 1 silver, 1 bronze) and Asian Games (7 golds, 1 silver, and 1 bronze). Despite retiring in 2019, Nicol David continues to be the face of the squash world. With squash continuing to be left off the Olympic programme, I cannot think of a better person to lead the charge to help squash one day land that coveted spot that it so much deserves. 


    John Foyne

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