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Five new sports added to LA28 Olympics

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved five new sports for the LA28 programme. These additions include two popular American sports: baseball/softball and a modified version of American Football, flag football. The other additions are cricket, lacrosse, and squash. 


The 2028 Summer Olympic Games will be hosted in Los Angeles, California. The upcoming 2028 Olympics will be the third time the city has hosted the games, having previously hosted it in 1932 and 1984. It will also be the first United States-hosted Olympic Games since the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Baseball and softball return to the Summer Olympics after being absent from the 2024 edition of the games. During the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Major League Baseball prohibited their players from participating. As a result, the IOC responded by dropping the sport from its programme due to the best players not being available to play. 

In 2014, the IOC created a policy where host committees can schedule individual sports to add to the already existing ones that the IOC selects. Baseball was added back into the programme for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics due to the popularity of the sport in Japan.

Baseball/softball will be held in two historic baseball stadiums in Los Angeles: Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium. Dodger Stadium was previously utilized for Olympic baseball in 1984. 

Recently, Rob Manfred, the Commissioner of Baseball, has stated that it would be difficult for the MLB to pause its season for the games. 

We’re an everyday game. We’re kind of big on the integrity of that regular season. It’s an important thing for us,” Manfred said.

Football has a long history of potential inclusion in the Summer Olympics. The sport was last played in the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, and it was only a demonstration match to showcase the sport to the rest of the world.

Various NFL players have expressed interest in participating in the 2028 Summer Olympics since the announcement, including Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill. Shortly after the announcement, he posted on X: “Calling all [NFL] guys let’s bring one home”. 

Cricket is a popular sport internationally, and the LA28 Organizing Committee viewed the sport as a priority to add to the programme. Cricket was last played in the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris, France. After a 128-year wait, the sport will be held in a new cricket stadium in Irvine. 

Squash, similar to American racquetball, will appear in the upcoming LA28. 

Team USA is already committed to playing lacrosse in the Olympics and the sport has the full backing of the PLL (Premier Lacrosse League). Professional lacrosse players are most likely going to participate in the Games, so the LA28 lacrosse competition will be a showcase of the sport’s best players.

The addition of new sports to the Olympics allows for more athletes to participate in the famous global games and will provide viewers worldwide with an opportunity to support their nation’s teams in a more diverse array of sports.

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