Olympics ‘28 seeks to add five sports

Sports writer Aiman Fariz Zaqwan Bin Akmal Hizam discusses the sports being proposed for the 2028 Olympics
Despite the 2024 Olympics commencing next summer, the 2028 Olympics, set to be hosted in Los Angeles, already has people excited for new sports to come to the program. LA 2028’s organizing committee has submitted a proposal to the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board to introduce five additional sports. The sports proposed are baseball/softball, squash, flag football, cricket and lacrosse.
“The choice of these five new sports is in line with the American sports culture and will showcase iconic American sports to the world, while bringing international sports to the United States. These sports will make the Olympic Games LA ‘28 unique,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.
Baseball/softball made its official Olympic debut at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona and was included in each Olympics until the 2008 Beijing Games. Subsequently, it was removed from the Olympic program but saw a revival in Tokyo 2020, with the host country securing a gold medal. Although the sport is omitted for the 2024 Paris Olympics, this proposal will see it being reintroduced to the Olympic roster once again.

Cricket made its sole appearance in the Olympics during the 1900 Summer Olympics held in Paris, which featured only two teams, France and Great Britain. Despite its limited Olympic history, cricket has garnered widespread popularity, boasting an impressive fan base of 2.5 billion enthusiasts worldwide. Notably, the United States has taken a significant step in promoting the sport, with the recent launch of the Major League Cricket in July, indicating potential growth across the nation. The proposed format for cricket in the Olympics is T20 for both men’s and women’s.
Lacrosse is another Olympics returnee on the list. The sport was contested twice in the Olympics, previously in St. Louis 1904 and London 1908, both won by Canada. Lacrosse was also included as a demonstration sport in the 1928, 1932 and 1948 Olympic editions. The sport’s origin can be traced back to the Indigenous people of America and its potential inclusion in the 2028 Olympics would provide a unique opportunity to connect its North American heritage with its growing youth appeal.
Squash is one of the two sports that are set to make their Olympic debut. The sport was a descendant of another racquet sport, tennis, where it was played in the 18th century in London prisons. Squash has experienced significant worldwide growth and has been a constant presence in the World Games since 1997. It enjoys global representation, with the top 20 players in both men’s and women’s categories hailing from five different continents. Squash is primarily an individual event but it can also be played in doubles, albeit on a larger court. The specific format for its inclusion in the Olympics, however, has not been finalized yet.
Flag football is another Olympic debutant in the list. The sport’s history dated back to 1940, where the game began as a recreational sport created for American military personnel to help them stay fit but was designed to prevent injuries during wartime. Flag football is a variant of American football and has seen its popularity surge not only in the United States but also around the world. It gained international recognition when it was included as an invitational sport in the 2022 World Games.

While the current proposal is still being reviewed by the IOC Executive Board, fans worldwide are thrilled by the prospect of having these new sports. These potential additions to the Olympic lineup open doors for athletes from various backgrounds, paving the way for new talent and narratives that can captivate audiences worldwide. It signifies a bridge between tradition and modernity, as Olympic organizers seek to align the Games with the evolving interests of sports enthusiasts.

Post Author: Aiman Akmal Hizam