LA 28 shortlists nine sports for Olympic Games inclusion

The Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games organizing committee and International Olympic Committee (IOC) have invited nine sports to plead their cases for inclusion on the sports program, multiple reports have confirmed.

Breakdancing, featured at Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, now recommended for inclusion at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games (WDSF Photo)
Breakdancing, featured at Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, now recommended for inclusion at the LA 28 Olympic Games (WDSF Photo)

The shortlist includes cricket, breaking, baseball and softball, flag football, lacrosse, karate, kickboxing, squash and motorsport. The invited sport federations are expected to submit documents and make presentations to LA 28 later this month according to Cricbuzz.

Under IOC rules, the host of each edition of the Olympics can propose any number of regionally popular sports for inclusion on the program to complement the core sports that feature at every Games. Earlier this year skateboarding, surfing and sport climbing – all having debuted at Tokyo 2020 – were also added to the LA 28 program.

There are now 28 confirmed sports for LA 28 and the IOC would have to agree to include any further recommendations by the organizing committee.  The total program must meet the fixed cap of 10,500 athletes.

The core sports of boxing, weightlifting and modern pentathlon have been left off the list due to deficiencies identified by the Executive Board, but the IOC will reconsider inclusion if they change to meet requirements before a deadline next year.

The sports will be studied over the coming months before the IOC’s Executive Board proposes a list to the IOC Session for a vote to be held in Mumbai, India starting next May.

Cricket’s only appearance at the Olympic Games was at Paris 1900. The T20 format of the sport is being proposed for the 2028 Games.

Breaking, more commonly known as breakdancing, will make its Olympic debut at the Paris 2024. The sport first appeared as an Olympic discipline at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

The unique venue requirement for baseball and softball led to their exclusion at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games, but the popularity of the sports and available venues in Japan led to its reinstatement at Tokyo 2020. Left off the program again for Paris 2024, expect baseball and softball to return to the LA 28 Games to take advantage of Los Angeles’ iconic Dodger Stadium.

A partnership between the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) and the U.S. National Football League (NFL) is behind the bid to include flag football at LA 28. Flag is seen as a key component to IFAF’s international growth and was featured at a multisport event for the first time at the Birmingham 2022 World Games.

Lacrosse, based on a sport played by indigenous peoples across North America, has become one of the most popular high school team sports played in the United States. It first appeared at St Louis 1904 and again at London 1908 and was later a demonstration sport at Amsterdam 1928, Los Angeles 1932 and London 1948.

Appearing at the Tokyo 2020 Games for the first and only time, karate is a popular sport among American youth. Kickboxing is making its first bid for program inclusion and has never appeared at the Games. Squash has made its case to be staged multiple times, but has yet to see success.

Motorsport was previously banned from the Olympic Games, but that rule was dropped 10 years ago and electric karting became a demonstration event at Buenos Aires 2018. The discipline being proposed by the International Motorsport Federation (FIA) has not been confirmed.

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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