In a bid to engage new global audiences, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved the inclusion of five sports for the 2028 Los Angeles Games during a recent meeting in Mumbai.
The approved sports include Cricket, Flag Football, Lacrosse, Squash, and Baseball-Softball, proposed by the 2028 organizers.
IOC Approval Process:
Under IOC rules, host cities can request the inclusion of several sports for their Games. The proposals put forward by the organizers were previously given the nod by the powerful IOC Executive Board and were officially approved during the recent IOC session.
Beyond the initial five sports, the IOC session greenlit the inclusion of Modern Pentathlon, which underwent a significant change in its obstacle course following a scandal at the Tokyo Olympics. Weightlifting also secured its spot after modifications to its anti-doping testing procedures.
While Cricket rejoins the Games after over a century, boxing’s participation remains uncertain pending governance developments. The decision on including boxing has been put on hold.
Cricket, a sport with a massive following in India and a fast-growing global audience, returns to the Olympics after more than a century. The proposed inclusion features a six-team Twenty20 format for both women and men. The International Cricket Council (ICC) expressed excitement about showcasing the sport on the global stage.
Significance of Cricket’s Inclusion:
The IOC anticipates that cricket’s inclusion will activate a large, new Olympic audience, leveraging the sport’s estimated 2.5 billion worldwide fan base. The annual Indian Premier League, valued at $8.4 billion, adds to cricket’s global appeal.
**Strategic Boost for All Sports:**
While the inclusion of these sports is for one edition of the Games, organizers are banking on the participation boost to spur growth and maintain attractiveness throughout the next Olympic cycle.
Individual Sport Highlights:
– Flag Football, a non-contact format of American football, aims to add an exciting new dimension to the Games.
– Baseball returns after being excluded in 2012 and 2016, with Softball, its female counterpart.
– Lacrosse, having appeared twice as a medal sport in the early 1900s, makes a return.
– Squash celebrates its inclusion as a “significant breakthrough” for the sport, according to U.S. Squash Chief Executive Kevin Klipstein.
These sport additions promise to bring diverse and thrilling athletic experiences to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games, offering a unique blend of tradition and innovation on the global stage.