New Sports at the 2028 LA Olympics
On Monday, October 16, the International Olympic Committee added flag football, squash, lacrosse, cricket, baseball and softball to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.
The five sports were introduced to the International Olympic Committee as a package, with 88 of the 90 members of the committee voting in favor of the admission. The addition of these sports was justified by their increasing popularity and the additional viewers that would come with their implementation.
Members of the International Olympic Committee believe that the addition of flag football will encourage more viewers, especially from North American regions. Four time Super Bowl champion Robert Gronkowski and Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill have expressed interest in representing the US in flag football in 2028. Furthermore, the NFL is encouraging players to participate in the 2028 Olympics as executive Peter O’Reilly stated the league will be working with the NFL Players Association and USA Football to pave a pathway for players eager to join the fray.
Cricket, lacrosse, baseball, softball, and squash are popular sports played in almost every country in the world, and it will be especially interesting to see how USA teams fare against their competition in cricket, which isn’t currently played professionally in America. Cricket was an Olympic sport in the past, removed from the games officially in 1896, and the reimplementation demonstrates its popularity growth in recent years. The International Olympic Committee have also expressed their interest in adding boxing back into the games, but there is no current official committee to contact in order to do so. The integration of these five sports is a historical moment in the development of the Olympics.