There is nothing better than seeing your favourite sports represented at the Olympic Games. Every four years, people tune in to watch what is known as one of the biggest sporting events. With their eyes glued to their screens, sitting on the edge of their seats, people are enthralled by these games, betting on who will take the gold. However, it can be rather disappointing when the sport of your choice is not even a category. But worry not because there is some good news for many fans: five new sports are expected to be included in the Olympic event in 2028.
What are these Five New Sports?
On 9th October, LA28 gave its official statement announcing the consideration of including these games: Lacrosse, squash, baseball-softball, flag football and cricket.
These games are still pending approval from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC’s Olympic Programme Commission will make a recommendation to the IOC Executive Board (EB) after its discussion of the LA28 plan. If this recommendation is accepted, the IOC EB will propose the idea to the 141st IOC Session (15-17th October) in Mumbai, India.
If authorized, the complete event schedule and athlete quotas for these five new sports will be finalized in the future.
A closer look at these sports
Lacrosse, a popular sport in the US, is proposed to be played in the “sixes” format which is a high pace, high-scoring format played over four 8-minute quarters. It was actually a part of the Olympic games a long time ago in 1904 and 1908 where Canada won both gold medals offered in the sport.
World Lacrosse said “We are one huge step closer to a monumental milestone for our sport and international community. Lacrosse is globally played, accessible and equitable, with a unique origin and modern, youthful relevancy. We are on a path of ascendancy, and will be a great partner for LA28 and the IOC.”
Cricket was also played once before as a part of the Olympic games in 1900 when England and France played each other. It is back after the success of women’s cricket at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The suggested format is limited overs T20 for both men and women.
Greg Barclay, the chair of the International Cricket Council said: “We are delighted that LA28 have recommended cricket for inclusion in the Olympics. While this is not the final decision, it is a very significant landmark towards seeing cricket at the Olympics for the first time in more than a century.”
Team GB has also expressed its delightedness over the inclusion of these five new sports. Mark England, the chief De mission for Team GB hailed this decision while also hoping Ben Stokes will get that gold. Stokes was recently taken out of retirement for the World Cup.
Moreover, flag football is a five-on-five non-contact form of American football. The NFL has been pushing for it to be an Olympic event for a while now in order to increase global interest in their sport.
Baseball-softball, meanwhile, was most recently included in the Olympic games at Tokyo 2020, where Japan won both gold medals.
The inclusion of these five new sports is surely exciting for both the fans and the players. Let’s see what the IOC decides regarding the fate of these games. Hopefully, the addition of these will lead to many others and make the Olympic event even more enjoyable.