Nicol Ann David was born on August 26, 1983 in Penang and is the Malaysian squash player who has dominated the sport in the early 21st century. She is considered by many to be one of the greatest women’s squash players of all time. She has won every major title there is to win. Her achievements in the sport make her transcend her World Number 1 status and move her into the ‘Legend’ status in the sport.
These are her core values that guide and lead her in life.
BELIEF – ‘Being number one is something you have to earn every day. For me, it is really about playing the tournaments. Everything else is a bonus. It’s about the passion to reach for the stars’.
PURPOSE – ‘I’m driven by my passion and it’s the ultimate satisfaction when everything pays off with a big win. That feeling can never be replaced by anything else’.
CREATIVITY – ‘There is a part of me that is willing to be open to other possibilities that I have to offer and ready to explore life to the fullest. That's when my creativity is nurtured and a lot of my influence comes from my squash travels’.
MALAYSIA – ‘I’ve been shown a lot of appreciation by the general public in Malaysia as a successful sportsperson in the world scene. I hope that someday, I can find ways to give back to the Malaysian community because they have played a huge role in raising the profile of squash within the country’.
Nicol has become the first to win eight World Open crowns in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. This is a women's record and equals Pakistan legend Jansher Khan.
To get an idea of how Nicol compares in her career of 14 years, just imagine that Michael Schumacher won seven world titles in a Formula 1 career that spanned 19 years. Nicol has been at the absolute top for 112 Months at No. 1. Steffi Graf, the most successful female tennis player, managed 94 months. Fellow Malaysian and World Champion Badminton Lee Chong Wei managed a stunning 73 months.
2005 Hong Kong – Rachael Grinham 3-1
2006 Belfast – Natalie Grinham 3-2
2008 Manchester – Vicky Botwright 3-1
2009 Amsterdam – Natalie Grinham 3-1
2010 Sharm El-Sheikh – Omneya Abdel Kawy 3-0
2011 Rotterdam – Jenny Duncalf 3-0
2012 Cayman Islands – Laura Massaro 3-0
2014 Cairo – Raneem El Welily 3-2
Nicol is an Ambassador for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation: “I am delighted and honoured to be named as a Sport for Good Ambassador for the Laureus Foundation. They are dedicated to improving the lives of people in disadvantaged areas which is something I support strongly and I am looking forward to joining them in their mission to promote healthy living through squash and sharing my passion for sport with others."
The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation believes that sport can change the way people look at the world. The true values of sport can bring together families, friends, nations in a way that no other human activity can. At Laureus Sport for Good Foundation they believe that sport can help change the world. Simply because sport represents the best humanity: determination, fellowship, teamwork and the pursuit of excellence.
The foundation raises funds to provide financial and practical support to more than 150 projects which use the power of sport to provide coaching and education to young people in some of the most challenging or deprived environments around the world.
Statistically, David is one of the greatest squash players in history. She is presently tied with Jansher Khan for the most world championship titles (eight) and she still trails Khan in the overall number of professional tournaments won: Khan notched ninety-nine titles, while David is at eighty. With five British Open titles, Nicol will probably be unable to surpass Heather McKay’s all-time record of sixteen British Open victories.
She is also the best female athlete Malaysia has ever seen. Her profile extends far beyond her prowess on the court. Her pursuit of excellence in everything she does has led to numerous off court achievements, which has opened up new audiences and made her a true household name.
Top five number of months ranked World No.1:
1.Nicol David 110 months (squash)
2.Susan Devoy 105 months (squash)
3.Jansher Khan 97 months (squash)
4.Steffi Graf 94 months (tennis)
5.Lee Chong Wei 73 months (badminton)
Nicol David was given the honour of Asia flag bearer, leading the Asian continent in the Commonwealth Games (2014) and the privilege of carrying the Olympic torch for Malaysia during the build up to the Athens Olympics (2004) as well as the Beijing Olympics (2008).
New Delhi 2010, 4-8 October Gold Medal
Glasgow 2014, 24-28 July Gold Medal
Nicol David is not only the best female athlete Malaysia has ever seen, she is also by far the best squash player the game has ever witnessed. Her profile extends far beyond her prowess on the court. Her pursuit of excellence in everything she does has led to numerous off court achievements, which has opened up new audiences and made her a true household name. Nicol’s achievements:
“Here is someone who epitomizes professionalism on and off the court. She has handled fame with great humility in the manner of a true champion.”
Former Squash World 1. and New Zealand Sporting Icon. Currently New Zealand Race Relations Commissioner
Nicol David is the best female athlete Malaysia has ever seen and by far the best squash player the game has ever witnessed. It is for these reasons that she was honoured by the Malaysian government in more than one way.
In 2008 she was honoured with the Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri Award (DSPN), which carries the title ‘Dato’. She was recognized as the youngest person ever to be conferred Datukship in Penang. As a comparison, Dato’ is the equivalent of the English title Dame. Nicol was also honoured with the Order of Merit (Darjah Bakti), an award that is limited to 10 recipients who have made significant contributions in the arts, sciences and the humanities (2008)
The Asian Individual Squash Championship is the event which serves as the individual Asian championship for squash players. It is organised by the Asian Squash Federation and was first held in 1981.
2015 Nicol David - Annie Au
2011 Nicol David - Annie Au
2010 Nicol David - Rebecca Chiu
2008 Nicol David - Rebecca Chiu
2006 Nicol David - Rebecca Chiu
2004 Nicol David - Sharon Wee
2002 Nicol David - Rebecca Chiu
2000 Nicol David - Rebecca Chiu
1988 Nicol David - Sandra Wu
Additionally, Squash is an Asian Games sport since the 1998 edition and has been held at every edition since. They occur every four years.
2014 Nicol David - Low Wee Wern
2010 Nicol David - Annie Au
2006 Nicol David - Rebecca Chiu
1998 Nicol David - Rebecca Chiu
Nicol’s profile extends far beyond her prowess on the court. Her pursuit of excellence in everything she does has led to numerous off court achievements, which has opened up new audiences and made her a true household name. In 2010 Reader’s Digest Asia ‘Malaysians’ Most Trusted People and Professions’ survey named her as the ‘Most Trustworthy Personality in the Country 2010’.
"Nicol’s phenomenal achievement is the latest milestone in a glittering career, which has included a record eight World Championship titles, two Commonwealth Games gold medals and four (quadrennial) Asian Games gold medals" - The Malay Mail
As Nicol puts it: “Apart from the simple luxuries of indulgence, I’ve been shown a lot of appreciation by the general public in Malaysia as a successful sportsperson in the world scene. I find this hard to believe sometimes because I am merely doing what I love and achieving my own goals along the way.”
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“This generation only holds the key to the future, but we are, in our own right, incredibly important resources to our communities.” – Nicol David
Nicol is a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador for Malaysia. Although squash is not an Olympic sport, she was invited to carry the Olympic torch for Malaysia during the build up to the Athens Olympics in 2004 and the Beijing Olympics 2008.
She believes that the youth can be a positive force for development, peace, and democracy. She has spoken out on the importance of values of understanding, solidarity and respect and communication across all cultures, she herself a product of a multi-cultural family.