IOC confirms inclusion of surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing at LA 2028 Olympics

Skateboarding, surfing and sport climbing are now officially included on the Los Angeles 2028 sport program after International Olympic Committee (IOC) members voted to accept the plans as proposed last year.

Sport climbing joins skateboarding and surfing as sports recommended for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic program (IFSC Image)
Sport climbing joins skateboarding and surfing as sports added to the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic program (IFSC Image)

In an unrecorded vote members attending the IOC Session held in Beijing Thursday and others joining remotely online approved the LA 2028 sport program that promises to add freshness to the Games.

The three sports made popular and successful debuts at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Games and are already on the program for the Paris 2024 Olympics.  The added disciplines are part of the IOC’s strategy to embrace more youthful and universally attractive events for the program in order to hold on to the younger demographic of Olympic consumers.

“The LA28 Games have always been about bringing more freshness, youthful energy and creativity into the Olympic and Paralympic movement,” LA28 Chairperson Casey Wasserman said Thursday.

“Los Angeles is a place unlike any other and it will be incredible to host surfing, skateboarding and climbing as iconic West Coast sports alongside Olympic fan favorites.”

International Surfing Association (ISA) President Fernando Aguerre said on Twitter “This is a humbling moment for the ISA and for me personally. I would like to offer my deepest thanks to the IOC President and IOC Members for their belief in Surfing.”

The LA 2028 organizing committee has the option to propose additional sports to the program and will have until 2023 to to present further plans to the IOC.

Despite the additional sports, an athlete quota of 10,500 set forth in the Olympic Charter must still be respected, officials have said.  Disciplines could be removed from existing sports to maintain the balance.

Additionally three core sports including boxing, weightlifting and modern pentathlon are effectively on probation and must earn their spots on the LA 2028 program by addressing specific improvements ahead of the 2023 IOC Session.  Football’s spot on the program is also at risk as the IOC further examines FIFA’s proposed plans to hold its World Cup every two years instead of quadrennially.

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.

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